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SugarCRM Expands Channel Program

Open-source CRM vendor SugarCRM has revamped its channel program, including changing its name, and adding new resources and incentives for partners of all flavors.

The Open+ Partner Program, announced this week, is a filling out of the company’s existing program that had been around for about five years, said Jeff Campbell, vice president of worldwide sales for SugarCRM.

“We have revamped our on-boarding program, including technical and product training and sales and marketing training,” he said. “Our goal is not only to provide the normal operational support but also helping our partners understand how best to bring products to market.”

In addition to overhauling its partner benefits, the program emphasizes the opportunities for partners in offering cloud-based solutions. As such, the program provides better access and support for SugarCRM’s Open Cloud platform and related technology so partners can build, manage and maintain next-generation cloud solutions for their customers, according to the company.

“A big part of the program is educating partners about how to take our product to market in the cloud. It’s a different strategy,” Campbell said. “We are probably the most portable application in the CRM space. We have a deploy-anywhere philosophy – our product can be used onsite, in the cloud, and it’s the same product. That gives our customers and our partners the flexibility to deploy custom solutions effectively.”

Although Open+ places a heavy emphasis on education – both technical and non-technical – the program also offers a number of standard program features for partners, including streamlined lead generation, distribution of leads and deal registration; centralized marketing collateral; an end-to-end market development program; and an incentive-based customer referral program.

“If you peel back the layers, we are doing a number of things to drive better partner productivity,” Campbell said. “We want to make our partners more successful so ultimately we will be successful as well.”

The program includes different categories of partnership – from channel partners to referral partners – with each level featuring its own set of requirements and benefits. Channel partners, for example, can choose from three levels of partnership – bronze, silver and gold – depending on their company size, annual revenues and other requirements. Fees for joining the channel partner program range from $2,000 to $12,000 depending on the level.


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