Progress enhances global and Aust partner program

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US-based Progress Software has enhanced its global partner program and promised to include its Australian channel in more marketing and support initiatives.

US-based Progress Software has enhanced its global partner program and promised to include its Australian channel in more marketing and support initiatives.

Larry DiLoreto, newly appointed, Sydney-based Asia-Pacific vice-president for Progress, said the vendor was enhancing its program globally, but would also extend more features of the program to its 57 application partners and 'about a dozen' system integrator partners in Australia.

Progress' program would stand out among others in its niche for its focus on helping partners achieve business objectives, such as profitability, he said.

'We are expanding our partners ability to create targeted marketing campaigns, create campaigns for awareness, for lead generation. [We are also adding] a resource centre which is really a web-based repository where you can go in and create deals [et cetera],' DiLoreto said.

Progress – which competes in a similar space to Oracle -- was also adding a business forum for partners at its annual US conference in Las Vegas, he said.

DiLoreto said Progress had been selling its software aimed at helping programmers build, develop and deploy applications in Australia for about 15 years. The vendor had been experiencing good sales growth, he claimed.

'The software we primarily talk about is called Open Edge. What it does is provide all the technology needed to deploy and manufacture applications,' DiLoreto said. 'It enables integration through Microsoft .NET and web services as well as opening it up to other data services and software.'

He said the vendor targeted customers making applications for large businesses such as factories, financial institutions or casinos. 'Two-thirds of our business is sold to and with application partners that have domain expertise,' he said.

DiLoreto believed the time was right to enhance channel support. 'I think the driver is that there is a lot more competition and there's a lot of consolidation and software companies in general need assistance in business processes to get their organisations to grow,' he said.

While many service providers and ISVs were very entrepreneurial or technical, some needed assistance in the more nuts-and-bolts aspects of business, such as on how to build better operational practices and growth strategies, DiLoreto said.

Paul Watts, MD at Brisbane-based supply chain applications specialist Markinson Technologies, said Progress' new partner program had a unified approach to supporting its partners.

'Other partners provide tiny pieces of empowerment but don't bring it all together. [For example], some others are very technically focused. There's a lot of technical empowerment [around] but not much business empowerment. Others are very sales empowerment-focused,' Watts said.

Markinson Technologies specialised in applications for sectors of the electrical, industrial and automotive industries. The company had been a partner of Progress Software's since 1992, he said.

'I think they have [previously] had some extra programs [overseas], but the ones we have had here have been excellent,' Watts said.

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