Archives For VAR

channel-cheifs-2015-400.jpgAnyone familiar with CRN’s “50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs” list knows it’s a distinction of honor. So when the announcement came this week that my name was among the most highly accomplished channel executives, I was proud beyond measure for both our channels team and our channel partners. We have a top-notch channel program at SugarCRM and the success our partners are enjoying illustrates how well that program is working.

SugarCRM has a long history of being a channel publisher (that’s “inside baseball” jargon for being a company that sells through channel partners). We started the company 10 years ago and within days of releasing our first version of Sugar in July 2004, a CRM consulting firm named Synolia in France reached out to ask about our channel program. That was the beginning of a very powerful set of partnerships between SugarCRM and over 200 CRM consulting and reselling companies around the world.

Over the course of the last two year years, I and my team have worked diligently to up-level the channel program and add significant new structure to enhance it. We brought our value added resellers (VARs), system integrators (SIs), original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) under one department and executive leader. This means every partner who represents SugarCRM, embeds Sugar in their own products or integrates with Sugar is now managed by one, fully integrated department. In that time we have also rolled out partner scorecards so each partner can continuously measure their success, established an OEM program and team to work with other software companies that want to embed Sugar in their products, and launched a revamped reseller program with program tiers based on training certification minimums and sales attainment. We also moved our channel partner program up-market, focusing on larger customers and larger partners.

The results speak for themselves. Now, over 60 percent of SugarCRM’s recurring revenue comes from our global channel partners and almost every customer leverages one of our partners, whether a reseller, SI, ISV or OEM partner. We have more than 200 VARs in over 30 countries around the world. We have expanded our channel program to include an OEM partner offering for regional- and vertical-specific solutions with partners like Project Pipeline. And, we’re on track to grow our channel partner program even more this year.

For me, the Channel Chiefs title is validation that the SugarCRM ecosystem of partners continues to be a significant component of the company’s success and our customer’s CRM success.. The implications are just as important for the CRM marketplace itself. Of course, SugarCRM has already proven its mettle as a disruptive player in the CRM market by virtue of its focus on the individual as key in creating extraordinary customer relationships. But just as important, every company that uses CRM must look closely at what differentiates them and implement the right CRM solution that enhances and illustrates those differentiators to their customers. That’s what our partners do for our customers.

From starting the company in 2004 to driving CRM success through our partner ecosystem today, I love every day here at SugarCRM. From the product to the people, SugarCRM is in a league of its own, bucking yesterday’s technology and setting new standards in the industry. This Channel Chiefs accolade is indeed testament to the great success the SugarCRM team and our channel have achieved due to perseverance, innovative thinking and a singular focus on highlighting the customer experience as what’s really important in CRM. I’m proud to share my title of “Influential Channel Chief” with the entire team at SugarCRM and our channel partners, and look forward to our continued success.

Editor’s Note: As we get closer to SugarCon, we wanted to introduce all of the contestants to this year’s App Throwdown, sponsored by SugarOutfitters. Over the next 2 weeks, we’ll have interviews from each of them on what they are showing for the Throwdown, helping you learn a bit more about it.

Bio ( Yours and the Organization you are representing )

Epicom is one of Sugar’s leading North American gold partners and is located in Austin, TX. We focus on complex Sugar deployments, customizations, and integrations. I joined Epicom as a software engineer in 2011 and in January 2013 assumed my current role of Customer Advocate where I reach out to our current customers and keep them informed on best practices, perform training opportunities, help solve minor issues and offer solutions to client specific business issues.

What are you presenting at the App Throwdown?

I am presenting Epicom’s solution for integrating SugarCRM with FedEx.

What about your application do you feel brings something unique or different to the Sugar ecosystem?   

Epicom’s FedEx application allows Sugar users to maintain a handle on high volume shipping issues, in terms of product tracking, expenses and customer service.

What is the biggest takeaway you hope the audience takes away from your presentation?  

As I tell all the customers I work with, the main takeaway in dealing with Sugar is that no matter what issue you are having; YES! There is a solution with Sugar no matter what you are doing.  In this case, you can see how easy it is to now track packages and customer orders with Sugar.

What is the most exciting aspect of being a part of the Sugar App Throwdown?

I am very excited to see how I perform in a speaking engagement after spending 17 years as a computer nerd behind a keyboard.  I’ll either have an entertaining couple of minutes describing the FedEx application or I’ll freeze up, curl up in a ball and ask for my mother.  Either way, it should be very interesting.

Looking at the other App Throwdown submissions, which one looks the most interesting and why?

I’m looking forward to seeing Colosa’s ProcessMaker.  I’m always on the lookout for quality third party tools to help my customers.