‘7 Minutes’ with Progress Software Strategic Partner Program Manager Richard Stone


… working with the partner team to develop a joint business, marketing and initiatives plan for their individual growth. In turn, we will offer our Rising Stars some of the benefits of higher levels to show our commitment to the partnership.

Recently, we created a partner health score that allows partners to see the strength of their business relationship with Progress, based on specific criteria identified in our program portfolio. The program is very useful because a partner can quickly get a pulse on their positioning within the ecosystem.

CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

RS: Percentage of sales: 72 percent. Number of partners: 2,000+. Average margin: Depends on the type of partner, but the average would be 20 percent.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

RS: This varies, but we believe we are unique in providing our customers and partners with the best platform to build mission-critical applications, moving to a “cognitive first” approach they can leverage their investment and build for the future.

CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?

RS: We will continue to provide our partners and customers with the best platform for building and deploying applications. Our hope is to leverage the expertise and experience of our technical teams to provide them with the ability to deliver an engaging UX for modern business apps across existing and emerging channels. This will allow them to easily integrate cognitive services into their applications with a modern and robust back end, and connect to all data and business systems on-premise or in the cloud.

Providing those building blocks will ensure growth in our overall partner community.

CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that time frame?

RS: We will continue to ask our partners what they need and listen to their challenges. I expect our program will continue to evolve by adding new partner types and empowerment programs, and always providing them with innovative programs and knowledge not readily available.

CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?

RS: We continue to push the limits of automation for our partner community through portals and communities, and hopefully soon we will be able to provide access to online quotes and order processing. We know our partners are always looking for efficiency, as well as the ability to have a better, more effective user experience. Removing administrative barriers will allow our team to be more efficient and accessible to address the needs of the Progress partner community.

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