Partnerships - a great way to do business
This should sound familiar, because I’m pretty sure that many readers will recognize their own company from the above description. It’s how all good companies begin, i.e. by listening to their closest customers and understanding how specialist knowledge and skills can help them to improve their business processes.
So, you’ve become a big noise in your home market. Congratulations, you’re a big fish in a small pond. Now, what?
For inovoo, the route to expansion was an obvious one. We are very successful at designing and implementing input management solutions based on EMC’s Enterprise Content Division (ECD) products, specifically Captiva and ApplicationXtender (AX).
Although we lead the market in Central Europe for these technologies, there are many other successful companies out there who are building solutions just like our own, probably based around the same EMC technology. It makes sense, therefore, for us to make contact with these companies to learn more about their own specialist skills, and to discover whether or not their own customers could benefit from inovoo’s home-grown products.
Furthermore, these customers will probably have different challenges to overcome in their own local markets; adapting our own technology to address these new customer requirements can only bring benefits to inovoo’s product portfolio, thereby broadening our skills and helping us to win new customers.
It’s a true “win-win” scenario. There’s just one big problem to overcome.
How do you find these potential partners and why should they listen to you, especially when they’re already successful and probably never heard of you before?
The EMC ECD Partner Program
Becoming an EMC Business Partner, which inovoo did in 2003, is more than just being authorized to resell EMC’s products. It’s about joining a community of like-minded companies where success stories are shared and achievements recognized.
For inovoo, the program is invaluable and has been the single-most important factor in enabling us to expand internationally. Put simply, there is no other way that we could have gained the exposure needed to understand markets where we have no experience or presence, and meet like-minded individuals who could see how our solutions can help their own customers.
As part of the overall business partner model, EMC’s Certified Solutions program has helped us to promote our home-grown NOVO Mobile and NOVO Mail solutions, both of which have won EMC awards that give us added credibility when talking to prospective (and current) customers. It also means that inovoo’s own products are available to EMC’s sales force, thereby opening up new sales channels for us that were never accessible before.
And it’s not just about technology; the power of EMC’s marketing “machine” is also accessible to their partners, either through targeted events and sales campaigns or as part of the many events EMC hold annually. Examples of this are the giant EMC World event in Las Vegas, the EMC Momentum event in Europe later this year and numerous other smaller meetings designed to share and influence the EMC sales and partner strategies being developed.
The bottom-line; is it worth the effort and cost?
In the last 6 months and as a direct result of the EMC ECD Partner Program, inovoo now has an authorized reseller partner for the French-speaking market (Aerow) and a distributor partner for the North American market (Metasource) that makes our home-grown technology available across the whole of the USA, with a local point-of-presence for sales and support in both countries.
Furthermore, the knowledge we gained from early discussions with Metasource has opened up a whole new line-of-business for us in our home market, positioning EMC’s outstanding ApplicationXtender technology to our new and existing customers.
And it’s not just a success story for partners. Over the last 2 years, EMC have invested considerable time and money into supporting partners and making their program one of the best available. In return, over 70% of global ECD business in 2015 involved partners to one extent or another.
The EMC partner program isn’t for everyone but as you can see above, measurable success is achievable if your company is willing to invest the time to build the relationships and engage in face-to-face meetings around the world that are necessary to achieve results.
Go fishing, and see for yourself!