Ziff Davis Internet
News & Resources for the IT Reseller
NewsReviewsTech AnalysisCommentarySecurityLinux/Unix
My Account |  

VARs Get Marketing Boost from Big Brother
By John Hazard

What good is it when you are the only one who knows that your solution is the best out there?

Or, as for Allfinanz of F.M. Systems Ltd., a Dublin, Ireland-based ISV serving the insurance industry, the question can be, what good is it if we’re the only ones who know we exist?


After several years away from the U.S. market, the company sought to return this year and had to rebuild its market presence from scratch, said Mike Scunziano, the company’s vice president of North American alliances.

Scunziano initiated a marketing and advertising campaign that he hoped to string along on $40,000 in quarter-page ads in a handful of trade magazines, but through an alliance with IBM’s PartnerWorld, he was able to turn a piecemeal operation into a powerful, targeted campaign.

For the same price, Allfinanz used the program to leverage full-page ads in five insurance industry magazines, two direct mailings and a telemarketing program, all of which grabbed the company 14 prospects in less than six months.

“The return on investment was a no-brainer,” Scunziano said. “We went from a limited reach and a big investment of time and resources to hitting our audience big-time at the right moment.”

PointerClick here to read more news, analysis and commentary on sales in the Channel.

The Channel Insider: Solution Builder

The program, part of IBM’s PartnerWorld Industry Networks, marketing and sales resources for ISVs and VARs, gives participants to access to discounted advertising in 160 technology publications and industry-specific magazines, plus use of IBM’s creative and design resources, discounts on direct mailings and access to the Suffern, N.Y. company’s telemarketing network.

The program has been available to PartnerWorld’s ISV members since 2004, but will become available to VARs in October, IBM said. To qualify, participating members must have Advance partner status.

Hewlett-Packard Co. offers its resellers Campaign Central, a similar program run through its PartnerOne initiative. Partners have access to discounted market research and mailing lists and the use of HP’s creative team to help develop direct mail and direct e-mail campaigns.

HP offers its program as a sales incentive, said Glenn Rossman, a company spokesperson, providing partners funding credits to use toward the marketing campaigns based on their sales of HP hardware and service.

PointerClick here to read more about IBM’s training and funding offers for VARs.

For IBM, promoting its resellers is a natural progression of the company’s departure from application development, said Aimee Munsell, director of the PartnerWorld industry network.

eWEEK.com Special Report: IBM's Evolution

“The way we see it, these are our applications out there. We go to market through our vendors,” she said. “The more successful they are, the more successful we are and the more satisfied our customers are.”

Through its influence and buying power, IBM has negotiated discounts, up to 60 percent, in 160 technology- and industry-specific publications, including Bank Technology News, Scholastic Administrator Magazine and Workforce Performance Solutions, and the list of titles is expected to grow, Munsell said.

Another ISV, biotechnology solution provider Vertical*I, was able to purchase $7,000 in advertising in Bio-IT World for less than $3,000.

Even more significant, Scunziano said, is the creative support the program provides. “The advertising buy is only a small part of the cost for businesses like ours,” he said. “We’re a small operation. We don’t have designers and marketing people on staff. This was all work that would have been farmed out. With IBM’s staff doing a lot of that work for us, we got more spending power for the advertising buy.”

For HP resellers, the company’s creative services allow a speedy return, Rossman said.

“Something that would have taken them days to do on their own can be turned around in under an hour,” he said. “It allows them to get it out there and get a return quicker and better than they could on their own.”



Free Hands-On Training Lab
Find out how key features of SBS 2003 can help you open up a new line of revenue. Register now >>

SBS 2003 Sales Reference Card
This handy reference card contains features at a glance, sales objection handling, pricing guidelines & more. Get it now >>

Microsoft Empower for ISVs rewards your big idea with big benefits and support.
Access key development tools at a low cost to help you develop that idea into an innovative application. Learn more >>

Autotask makes your IT business run. Better!
  • Manage your entire business from a single integrated system accessed over the web
  • Track and control service tickets, and efficiently dispatch field service techs
  • Monitor and analyze project profitability by project, customer and type
  • Bill by fixed price, time & materials, block hours or retainers
  • Set up workflow rules and automated notifications
  • Nothing to install. Easy to use. Affordable.
Click here ONLY if you want a personalized demo via the web
(North America only, please)

Attention Microsoft Solution Providers!

Want to gain a competitive edge? Try Microsoft Watch – FREE!

Each week you receive:
  • Microsoft News and Insider Information
  • Expert Analysis
  • Code Names of Upcoming MS Products
  • Year-Ahead Calendar, updated monthly

    Click Here to sign up now for your FREE 14 Day Trial to Microsoft Watch.
  • Add up to $1,200 of value with the new BONUS PACKS.
  • High Performance Storage That Blows Away Competitors.
  • Adaptec Adaptec SATA II RAID Outperforms LSI, Promise, 3Ware
  • Create, manage, and archive all content with EMC
  • Go Pro.Introducing Intel® vPro™ technology.
  • Free on-line courses at Data Center University
  • The Power to Build Great Devices – Windows Embedded
  • Windows gets top EAL 4+ security rating from SAIC.
  • Get the Facts on Linux and Windows Server.
  • Get a FREE Forrester white paper courtesy of Oracle.
  • Free Whitepaper: The future of Identity Management.

    •Catalog Publishing
    •Dealer Management
    •Order Configuration
    •Price Management
    •Sales Management

    View All >

    Search the jobs you want & get the info you need – post your resume here today!

    Powered by Dice
    White Boxes
    MS vs. IBM
    Linux in the Channel
    Stay in the Zone
    Put The Channel Insider on your desktop.
    Subscribe to The Channel Insider: Channel News, Reviews, Resources and more.

    Make your selections below:

    Contract Watch

    The Channel Insider Update

    Preferred e-mail format:

    Enter your e-mail:

    view all newsletters >>
    Channel Insider Quick Links
    Ziff Davis Footer Logo