Dell Boomi Revamps Partner Program
In order to support partners and market growth for what it calls “The Connected Business,” Dell Boomi this month revamped its partner program with a new accelerator program, competency recognition and an improved partner portal.
A little more than a year ago, we met with David Tavolaro, vice president of business development at Dell Boomi, to discuss the direction of the company just months after Dell’s acquisition of EMC. Dell acquired Boomi in 2010.
We caught up again with Tavolaro to get more insight on the partner program changes and partner opportunities at Dell Boomi.
Channel Futures: When we chatted in January 2017, you indicated that changes were in store for the Dell Boomi Partner Program. Is this it?
David Tavolaro: This is a major overhaul of our program. The market that we’re in is growing quickly. Boomi’s growth is outpacing that market so our program had to evolve in order for us to support that continued growth.
We got four inputs for the program changes: outside consultants for best practices; we surveyed our partners; internally, we tapped our executive team; and we talked to Dell Technologies and some of the other strategically aligned businesses about how they approach their channel partners.
This resulted in a totally revamped global partner program with some significant differences [from our previous program].
CF: Tell us what’s changed.
DT: We formalized the program tiers (gold, silver, bronze) and we formalized our expectations for partners in the various tiers as well as the benefits to partners moving up those tiers. We already had the tiers in place but they were getting blurry and we dealt with partners more on a case by case basis — we needed to formalize it.
Boomi is a little bit different from its competitors in that our platform has five elements: the core integration, which is what Boomi is known for; then, over the last few years, we built out on that platform: the data hub, the B2B exchange, mediate API capability and workflow capability.
So, from the partner standpoint, we had to update and expand our training and certification around the whole platform capability so that partners would be able to help their clients go through the complete digital transformation. Users start with integration, but it very quickly moves on to being able to manage data, APIs, flow and exchange also.
As far as the partner program goes, it’s a competency-based model. We want partners to train and enable their teams, so we gave them free access to our learning-management system and added new courses and certifications. We added new trainings on our core integration platform, and we added another level of developer training and another level of architecture training. We’re also adding training around the additional elements of our platform.
Regarding the tiers, as partners move up [them], the more marketing and sales support they get … and they get a closer relationship as a subcontractor with our professional sales organization, which is in place to serve them.
The other two things we did: The Partner Integration Accelerator Program is where our professional-services organization works with clients/partners on the first few implementations of Boomi so that partners are able to get up to speed quickly. The second thing is Partner Competency Recognition, or skills development around selling, designing and implementation. That was something that our partners were asking for.
CF: How is the company repositioning existing partners in the program?
DT: We went through a mapping process with partners and informed them about where they are in the new program. When their existing partner agreement expires, that’s the formal time when they transfer to the new program — unless then want to do it [sooner].
We have about 300 partners — global system integrators, regional system integrators, OEMs and ISVs. About 60 percent of partners are GSIs and SIs, and about 15 percent are ISVs. The rest are OEMs.
We’re less interested in growing the number of partners — what we are interested in is going deep with our existing partners who want to build a business around Boomi. We have a lot of partners certifying more people on the Boomi platform; that’s more important to us than having partners do one-off deals.
We’re also exposing partners on the portal to the same content – case studies, competitive information, sales information, etc. – that our sales team and professional services have access to. The new portal was launched about three weeks ago. We’ve made the portal easier for partners to navigate; they can quickly access the content they need whether it’s for sales calls or industry-specific information, product and solution information, competitive information — as well as how we administer their competencies, deal registration, etc.
CF: Any other areas of interest from partners?
DT: We’re getting partner interest on our platform for managed services — our partners that do managed services around core integration for their customer or something functional, such as service management.
We’re also seeing partners who are vertically aligned that are building solutions, such as a patient portal or health-care solution, or energy industry solution. And Boomi is in the middle of that.
We see these types of partner offerings accelerating in the market.