The customer

The European arm of a multinational software corporation, a global leader in its field.

The challenge

Review and improve the partner relationship management program in EMEA, processing more than 2,000 affiliations annually

The solution

The program was outsourced to Constant Solutions, which now provides a complete, multi-lingual partner management service.

The benefits

The customer's management team have been liberated from the routine administration of an increasingly complex program, while the program itself is delivering consistently high levels of service and support to partners throughout the region.

"Thank you once again for the excellent support over the past couple of weeks. I've been in this business for a number of years and can hardly recall someone who was so supportive, thank you very much."

Unsolicited feedback from a partner based in Switzerland.

Scenario

An effective channel strategy demands high levels of supervision, management and administration. For one of Europe's leading application delivery solution vendors, the creation of a successful channel network across Europe, the Middle East and Africa had produced strong sales growth, but had also created some significant management challenges.

Each year the channel partners - value-added resellers, independent software vendors, training organizations and others - are required to renew their membership of the partner program, having met pre-agreed targets and conditions. The administrative processes were originally designed for a much smaller organization, and the sheer volume of transactions created by the success of the program was beginning to overwhelm the management team.

Further complexities had arisen as local country organizations developed their own procedures for dealing with new requests and renewals. This led to inconsistency, creating growing confusion among partners throughout EMEA, particularly those with operations in more than one country.

Faced with handling over 2,000 affiliations that required annual validation and processing, the vendor asked Constant Solutions to undertake a complete review and overhaul of the processes involved. The objective was to restore the levels of customer service that had helped make the program so successful in the first place.

Action

The first step was to conduct a systematic review of each stage of the process, taking input from senior management, country-based sales and marketing teams, and a representative sample of channel partners. With all the relevant issues identified, and practical solutions agreed, Constant Solutions created a dedicated department to handle the complete partner program membership process. The Constant Solutions team includes native speakers of German, French, Italian, Spanish and English, allowing them to deal with most partners in their own languages.

Results

Management and administration processes were standardized and streamlined, allowing better communication with the channel, and within the vendor itself. Processing times were reduced, and processes themselves were made more transparent, ensuring high visibility for vendors and partners of the status of any particular application.

Control of the program and its processes is now centralized, with appropriate translation at the country level. This has released corporate management and in-country sales and marketing teams from the burden of administering the program, freeing them to focus on their primary business priorities.

At the same time, the service to channel partners has improved substantially, with clear processes, rapid response and a highly personalised service experience. The vendor now has an effective, closely managed program that delivers a better service to its channel partners, at a much lower cost.

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