7 Characteristics of a Software Vendor That Partners Want To Work With

Sandi Richards-Forman | May 2, 2016

I recently got on the Partner support line with a software vendor we’ve been doing business with for over 20 years.  After an hour of static-y hold music and being passed around to four different support organizations, I hung up.  I’ve had this same unresolved problem for nearly five years and I’ve sat on hold more times than I care to remember trying to get it fixed—it could wait. The next morning I got on the phone again.  An hour and a half this time to four more support groups.  I finally got to a rogue technician who sensed my frustration and actually solved my problem in about 10 minutes. Hallelujah!

At NexVue, we think how a software developer deals with its Partners says a lot about the developer itself—how hard it will work to ensure the Partners’ success, how it will deal with customers, and how hard it will work to ensure the customers’ success.  In over 30 years as ERP and business software consultants, NexVue has developed a good idea of what it takes to be a great ERP Partner and we know what to look for in a successful partnership with the vendor.  We’re banking on Acumatica because they have a great product and because they deliver the absolutely best Partner support we’ve experienced.

7 Characteristics of a Software Vendor That Partners Want To Work With

What should you look for in a software vendor/Partner relationship? I spoke with some folks in other functions at NexVue, including sales, consulting, marketing, and a member of our executive team.  Here are seven things NexVue values in our Partner relationships:

1. Accessibility

This was #1 on all of our lists. From Jon Roskill, Acumatica’s CEO, to the rest of the team I’ve interfaced with, Acumatica employees on every level make themselves available to their Partners. Roskill has visited the NexVue main office along with our Partner Development Manager, with whom many of us work closely.  Our Partner Development Manager, the Vice President of Partner Sales, the CMO, the Director of Partner Marketing, and really anyone I’ve reached out to has made themselves available to us via phone or email.  Trainers give you their contact information and make themselves accessible to answer questions. I know everyone’s name and whom to call about what, and while no healthy company has zero turnover, the positions at Acumatica are not revolving doors where there is someone different each time I call. None of the NexVue staff I consulted could name another software vendor with this level of accessibility.

2. Transparency

The openness extended to Acumatica Partners is also unprecedented.  Acumatica shares their product plans, competitive and industry research, and marketing calendar.  The company shares their processes, methods for success, and even things like which keywords and other tactics work and which do not. They share their personnel when possible, augmenting Partner skill sets and helping to relieve bottlenecks. They refer business and marketing service vendors who have worked well and give access to other Partners who they know have tried something.  Acumatica wants all of their Partners to be successful and they don’t hold back information that could help achieve that objective.

3. Cooperation

All of the NexVue employees I spoke with have had experiences with other vendors that end up competing with their Partners for sales.  Our Director of Sales recounted an experience with another software vendor: before he had even hung up the phone from a call with the vendor, the vendor had already reached out to the Partner’s client and was looking to set up a meeting.  Another vendor often unilaterally decides to bring in other Partners in order to close the sale. Acumatica relies on the Partner to make the sale, offering any resources they can to help, but never taking over the sale.  And for this, Acumatica has earned our trust.

4. “Ease of use”

Acumatica provides a Partner Portal with product, sales, and marketing information.  It’s super easy to use. If what you need isn’t there, you can ask for it. Easy. Partner support gets you to the right person quickly.  Easy. Technical support is streamlined and unlimited.  Easy.  It’s real people helping real people provide business solutions to real people.  When the marketing group supplies a “campaign in a box,” it contains a giveaway, landing pages, emails—all the materials you need. Again, easy.  Most of the assets are easily branded with your own company’s logo, contact information, and even look and feel.  All of the assets are easy to access and easy to work with. Other vendors provide portals, it’s true, but most of the time, the security makes them difficult to access and the materials are locked down to prevent manipulation.

5. Relevance

Acumatica’s offerings and demos are relevant for today’s businesses and those who make decisions. Some companies are focused on what they want to sell, while Acumatica seems totally absorbed by what the market needs.  They supply marketing materials that work in the real world. Sales reps are taught relevant skills including how to demo the product—a rare departure from a world where most software sales reps call in the software engineer to do the demo. Some vendors tout numerous Partner benefits, most of which turn out to be irrelevant to an individual Partner. Acumatica has secured significantly discounted pricing for Partners on all sorts of business and creative services, services that nearly all Partners need.

6. Respect

The folks at Acumatica know my name.  When you call other software vendors, the first thing they do is ask for your Partner number, but when I speak with someone at Acumatica, they know who I am and they know which company I work for and what project we’re working on at the moment.  I realize this is partially due to size—some of those other vendors are massive, but Acumatica could have adopted systems similar to the “big boys.”  Happily, they didn’t.  Acumatica also values the Partner’s experience.  They respect the Partner’s expertise in selling (some of us have been selling for over 30 years!) and respect the Partner’s decisions regarding the best solution to present and the best way to work with a client.  As a result, they listen to and give consideration to Partners’ ideas—no matter how crazy they might sound at first.  Even if it is something that, in the end, Acumatica cannot accommodate, they listen to the reasoning behind the idea and propose something else.  The result is a more creative, open environment where things happen.

7. Vision

Acumatica had the vision to create an integrated Cloud ERP offering, business software everyone needs using today’s technology.  They didn’t make a bunch of acquisitions, buying up the competition or trying to fill a hole in their offering.  Acumatica focuses on the ERP solution. The Acumatica Partner is selling an ERP solution that is already integrated with CRM, payroll, and other modules.  This is a completely different model from other companies that sell a mixed bag of goods, hoping someone will buy something. (We used to call it the pizza on the wall approach—throw your “everything” pizza against the wall and see what sticks.) This makes it easy for Partners to focus on a long-term winning strategy for selling and implementing solutions we know.

At NexVue, we know ERP and we know software vendors. The Acumatica Cloud ERP solution is second to none.  Behind the software is a great company to work with.

Sandi Richards-Forman

Marketing Director at NexVue Information Systems. Sandi Richards Forman has been with NexVue for almost 8 years. Before that she marketed database management, document storage and retrieval, and business intelligence software, alternating between being the vendor and being the Partner.

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