Cloud integration and workflow automation software provider Dell Boomi has announced a major reworking of its channel program, reflecting the company’s growth from a smaller player focused around application integration to a larger company with a broader solution set and a global reach that required more structure and consistency.
“Dell Boomi has been a very fast growing company, and as we continue to grow, as found that we had to grow our partner program as well,” said Dave Tavolaro, Dell Boomi’s Vice President of Business Development. “When I joined [in December 2016] the program was much less formal. It reflected the fact that we were still operating as a much smaller company. Things were inconsistent between geos. Everything that we did for partners was kind of a ‘one off,’ and there were issues like partners having very little opportunity to self-service access the training or technical resources available to our own people.”
Boomi is an application integration cloud whose core functionality is linking enterprise applications, in what Gartner classifies as Integration Platform as a Service [iPaaS]. They have broadened out their functionality – one of the reasons the partner program required updating. Dell bought them in 2010, and has maintained them as a fairly independent entity, which is why they have their own partner program.
When Tavolaro came to Dell Boomi, his top priority was improving the go-to market integration between Dell Boomi and Dell and its strategically aligned businesses like Pivotal and Virtustream. That task has been accomplished.
“We have built out a strategy to enhance the Dell story with Boomi as part of the Dell solution portfolio, taking advantage of the fact that we are middleware and sit between the Dell infrastructure and end-using computing,” Tavolaro said. “We have been very successful developing this in the last year.”
The redo of the partner program began last year, and took the better part of nine months to develop.
“We started by surveying 150 of our partners and getting feedback from them about what they wanted,” Tavolaro said. “We then worked with an outside consulting company around best practices in the market, and also worked with Dell EMC on leveraging best practices they had implemented in the relaunch of their own channel program. We talked with our own employees in the sales and channel organizations. Then we took this all together, took a global perspective, and developed it all at a global scale level.”
While the old program had a tiered structure with Gold Silver and Bronze tiers, the structure was not well-defined.
“We have done a better job of defining what the tiers are, based on revenue and on certifications,” Tavolaro said. “We also formally define how you qualify for them, how you advance, and the benefits that you get as you advance. Before, we had a single competency, around integration. But as the Boomi platform continued to evolve, we added new capabilities around data management, B2B, API management and workflow management. Now we have added competencies around all five areas. And the way the program works, a partner can advance by choosing to be a best-in-class integration partner, or by developing competencies across multiple elements of the platform. We call that economies of skill.”
The new program has four clearly defined levels – Authorized, Advanced, Select and Elite. While benefits improve with the tier, all levels can earn referral fees or resell Boomi.
A new element, the Partner Integration Accelerator Program, has also been added to help new Boomi partners skill up faster.
“This is a formal program that partners can choose to do with us, which is part of the more structured process in the program,” Tavolaro said. “We work with them on their first few implementations of Boomi, and this is accompanied by formal training.”
The new program provides partners with much greater accessibility to resources, beginning with a complete revamp of the Partner Portal.
“The content in the portal has changed as we have updated and matured our messaging,” Tavolaro indicated. “We are also making a broader range of content available than before. There is much more competitive information. Sales accreditation materials in the portal are new, and something that we did not have before. Partners used to have very little opportunity to self-service access our training or technical resources, and we have now made it all exposed and available to partners. The portal now also makes much more easily accessible a lot of information that was available to partners, but on request.”
Tavolaro said that the new program provides better support to Dell Boomi OEM partners and to technology partners like the big cloud providers – Google, Azure, and AWS – and SaaS providers like Workday ServiceNow, and Microsoft, on the application side.
“Now we can give them access to the same tools we give to our global systems integrator and systems integrator partners,” he stated.
When Tavolaro arrived, Dell Boomi had just over 230 partners, and the number has grown incrementally since then, to around 270.
“In the last year, the focus was not on recruiting new partners,” he said. “We wanted to wait until we had built out the new program, so that we could make sure we recruited partners who are a good fit for what Boomi does.”