Pitney Bowes Business Insight has unified its partner programs globally, establishing a new partner portal and a partner advisory council that lets its channel help shape the vendor's future direction.
It was understood to be the first major revamp to the partner program since Pitney Bowes acquired MapInfo for US$408 million ($444.8 million) in March 2007.
Speaking to CRN, the vendor's channel sales manager for Australia and New Zealand, Nigel Lester, said each region had run a different partner program with varying tiers, partner descriptions and contracts and sales collateral for partner recruitment.
"What we found was there was a lot of double-up in efforts and as partners began to work more globally, we needed a more consistent program around the world," Lester said.
"We've revamped the whole partner program. Various people [from Pitney Bowes] around the world came together, looked at the benefits in each geographic area and unified the programs globally."
As reported in CRN yesterday, one of the major enhancements is a new partner portal.
Lester said the portal linked directly into Pitney Bowes Business Insight's customer relationship management system, salesforce.com.
"We rolled out a new CRM system internally and wanted to leverage that," Lester said.
"We integrated the new partner portal with our internal CRM. Obviously the partners have a slightly different view of the CRM information but it gives them direct access to price lists, contract templates and makes it easier for them to do business with us.
"It's as if they were working inside the four walls [of Pitney Bowes]."
The integration also enabled partners to change the status of leads farmed out by Pitney Bowes, which in turn provided the vendor with valuable feedback on the quality of its lead generation activities.
Lester said the vendor had around a dozen gold and platinum partners and disties in Australia and New Zealand. It also had another 12 ISVs and OEMs that integrated its location intelligence software into their own solutions.
Lester also said that Pitney Bowes Business Insight had worked to streamline other parts of its partner program offering, including sales and technical enablement training and joint marketing activities.
The vendor had also set up what it called a partner advisory council "where partners meet with senior executives and learn first-hand our key strategies and directions and provide input into that.
"Our partners are out there on the street and seeing some of the opportunities that are out there," Lester said.
"We're being a lot more proactive to find out what partners want to see in our solutions and partner program in the future."
The unified partner program had so far been rolled out in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
It would soon be formally launched to South-East Asian and North Asian partners.