Symbol Brings ISVs Into The Fold With Two-Tier Program

The two-tiered ISV program promises to drive more sales opportunities at both its Regular- and Premier-level participants and greatly enhance the go-to-market strategies of the latter, said Jan Burton, vice president of worldwide channels at Symbol, Holtsville, N.Y.

Symbol's $3 million-plus investment also aims to couple the vendor with more non-hardware-selling ISVs creating middleware for Symbol hardware, she said.

"We had a developer site on the Web, but it wasn't as well-supported as it should have been. We also had an influencer program inside PartnerSelect, but we didn't feel we were hitting the mark," Burton said. But that should change. Symbol has deployed a team of three ISV channel account managers, and more manpower will be added as the program ranks increase, Burton said. Free online training will be available for partners to meet certification levels. And Premier-level partners get matching co-marketing funds from Symbol after they meet the minimum ante of $10,000, she said.

Symbol, which does 42 percent to 66 percent of its global sales indirectly, prefers to call its direct-sales force high-touch account managers and is financially incenting them to work with partners. But while it looks to direct high-touch account managers to non-hardware-selling ISVs and subcontract out the network hardware requirements of larger solution sells, there is no guarantee they won't fall back on existing relationships with hardware-selling ISVs to fulfill an order, Burton said.

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Jeff Kleban, executive vice president of alliances at Syclo, an ISV in Hoffman Estates, Ill., said he was not concerned. "Rather than compete with Symbol's sales teams and channel partners, we have found them to be a strong enabler," he said.

Rachel Blevins, director of marketing at Countermind, an ISV in Littleton, Colo., agreed: "What the high-touch managers get from us is the ability to rapidly deploy, and we give them a lot of flexibility in the account."