ERP and business software vendor Exact has announced the availability of a new training program for their Macola partners. The program, part of the Macola Unity Partner Program, introduces new self-paced online modules. It is another element in a series of moves since 2013 that have been taken to enable Macola partners in North America.
Macola was a US ERP company, which was acquired by Dutch vendor Exact in 2001, and is now one of five divisions operated by Exact Holdings.
“We have traditionally been focused on SMBs, but more recently we have been moving upmarket,” said Alison Forsythe, managing director of Exact Macola. “We do not sell to larger enterprises, but we have been moving more into the mid- and upper midmarket segment. It would be accurate now to say that 50 to 1000 employees is our sweet spot.”
Exact Macola is primarily an on-prem offering. While they are moving into hosted environments, they don’t offer a true multi-tenant SaaS offering.
“We have had tremendous success in the food and beverage market, and received a Frost and Sullivan award for that space,” Forsythe said. “We are also strong among electronics manufacturers, midmarket aerospace companies, and secondary automotive manufacturers.”
Before their 2001 acquisition, Macola was 100 per cent channel-driven, but that changed with the acquisition, and they moved to a direct model.
“When I came in in 2013, it was with the understanding that we would lead with a go-to-market strategy that is partner led,” Forsythe said. “Since then, we have been moving very aggressively to build out a partner ecosystem.”
“In 2013, maybe 30 per cent at most of the Macola business was channel,” said Gayle Prokop, director of alliances and channel development at Exact Macola. “Our goal is to flip that. We have restructured our sales organization along a channel-preferred model, and every lead now that we generate we give to a partner.”
Exact Macola has been aggressively recruiting a select group of partners. They are looking to put together a high quality partner base, not just sign up every partner who shows any interest.
“We now have several dozen partners in North America, which includes two solution providers in Canada, one in the west and one in the east,” Prokop said.
The new online training component is the latest element to be introduced in the Macola Unity Partner Program since its launch in January 2015.
“We have built an online training tool for partners that significantly cuts the time it takes for them to be certified,” Prokop said. “We wanted to minimize the reduction of billable hours. So what would have taken six to twelve months in classroom training before has now been molded into online training that won’t impact consultants’ billable hours. In addition to the classroom, we used to have an online component that was more of a webinar in four hour increments. The new training takes all the class room and webinar curricula and puts it into an online self-paced enablement program, with roughly 14-20 hours of content.”
The Macola Unity Partner Program has two tiers. Gold members need to have two consultants go through this training, while Silver members need one.
“Most of our partners have been begging for this training,” Prokop said. “They’ve had a huge part in the design of the program as well.”
Prokop indicated that this is Phase One of the changes to training.
“There will be additional training later for some of the components,” she said. “There will be more speciality type training, for things like Event Manager, as well as sales training. It’s a phased approach based on partner requests.”