Enterprise software vendor Software AG is hoping to increase its channel sales to 55 per cent of the total by 2019, as it develops a partner strategy for the first time in the UK.
Software AG has not historically had any channel strategy in the UK, said Chris Richards, UK and Ireland managing director. Richards started the role in January, and one of her main focuses for the next three years is to improve the way Software AG works with partners.
She said: "When our strategic partners think of digital transformation, we want them to think of Software AG. I would like digital transformation to be synonymous with Software AG. It is a dream, but I think it is achievable."
The German vendor claims to combine process management, data integration and real-time analytics into one platform.
The firm was founded in 1969 and floated on the Frankfurt stock exchange in 1999. Software AG now has 4,300 employees in 70 countries and reported a total revenue of €873m (£689) in 2015.
Richards added: "Software AG pretty much has a direct sales model but we are looking to change that. I joined about three and a half years ago and used to run the commercial sales team. I would say in that time they had no real partner strategy."
Richards claims that a lack of support from the board meant there was no real partner strategy at Software AG. She said that this changed when Eric Duffaut joined the management board in October 2014.
"I don't think the board understood," she said. "I don't think any of them had ever worked in a true channel environment, and Eric came from SAP which has a very strong channel model. He really understood the value of working with partners."
Software AG currently has 40 to 50 partners in the UK, including Capgemini, KPMG and PwC.
One of the partner strategies Richards is implementing is a focus on certain systems integrator partners, looking at what they are going to market with and what will drive venue for the partners.
She explained: "One of the key initiatives we are working on is looking at how we can incorporate our solution into their offering and help drive additional revenue for those SIs. We will probably not focus on more than five SIs, max."
The channel influenced 30 per cent of Software AG's revenue in 2015. Richards added: "This was without really focusing and having a strategy, which is pretty impressive.
"The issue we still have is that our board sometimes thinks these deals would have happened without the partners, but they wouldn't have. [The board] are not at the coalface the way we are."
Software AG will not recruit partners in the UK, instead focusing on the partners it already has.
"People need to know that they are important to you. I think in the past Software AG has probably been quite difficult to work with. Partners are such a fundamental part of our strategy so we want them to understand that we are completely connected," said Richards.
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