In the last decade, all of the top ERP vendors, with few exceptions, have developed their partner channels to expand their presence in the mid market. Many ERP buyers are now realizing the complexity this adds to their ERP selection projects.
At Ultra we have seen these vendor indirect sales channels mature at all the major ERP vendors. The companies that have become “ERP resellers” and vendor partners have invested heavily to get “product” certified, become experts, and build effective marketing and sales resources to establish their presence. To incentivize partners, vendors will offer between 40% and 60% of the software revenue as a commission to these partners.
The vendors claim that these partners generate as much as 25% of their mid market revenues. At Microsoft they get 100% of Dynamics revenue from a huge base of partners globally because they will only sell through partners.
There are many partners for each ERP vendor. SAP has 75 certified reselling partners in the US Microsoft has 17,000 partners selling Dynamics worldwide. Both Oracle and Infor have many partners selling their various products. At Infor the partner network is usually specialized on certain products. Mapics resellers usually are different from Infor SL (Syteline) partners who are different than Infor Visual partners. The same is true in the Microsoft world. Often a partner grew up focusing on one software product: GP, Nav, or AX. As they have grown many have expanded their focus to multiple ERP products.
ERP resellers often have territory restrictions. The ERP vendor wants to avoid channel conflict so they will have rules so the direct sales reps do not bump into or conflict with re-sellers. The industry norm now is that if you are below $100 Million in annual revenue you will be handled by a partner who is reselling the software and providing the implementation services.
At Ultra we believe it is very important to find the right partner. This means knowing who are the erp resellers, what is their geography, what is their product specialization, and most important do they have customers in your industry.
When you search for and independent ERP consultant to act as a guide for your ERP project, it is important that you confirm that the consultant understands all the facets of the various ERP vendor partner ecosystems.