At Ottawa-based Cognos these days it is all about corporate performance management or CPM and the company realizes it can’t service this market without the help of the channel.

The company has enhanced its partner program and developed a network of more than 3,000 resellers worldwide who are

dedicated to best practices in business intelligence and enterprise planning.

The new plan consists of four types of Cognos partners. Newly included will be consultants and technology partners or ISVs. Application partners and solution providers will still be in Cognos’ channel mix.

Also part of the plan will be centralized partner support including access to software, new training options, access to a partner specific certification program, marketing and communications programs, and access to Cognos’ Partner Network extranet for channel sales and marketing tools.

Cognos’ indirect revenue has fluctuated over the years between 25 and 30 per cent. Currently, Cognos’ channel revenue sits at 26 per cent of overall revenue.

According to Peter Malandra, senior manager of strategic alliances at Cognos, the company’s channel revenue and relationships is evolutionary.

“”We are carving ourselves a piece of the CPM market and the cornerstone of that is a deeper relationship with customers. We need to understand their business and the best way to do that is to align ourselves with partners in this market place,”” Malandra said.

With that Cognos has targeted four key vertical market where the company is putting in some extra effort. They are public sector, pharmaceuticals, financial services and manufacturing. Malandra added that Cognos is open to dealing with any other vertical markets.

“”This program says to the market we are open for business,”” he said.

Malandra said Cognos’ previous channel plan was regional and needed to be global. The goal is for Cognos partners to invest in CPM because the company will not be able to do it on its own.

“”Our objective is about providing increased investment in the channel and preparing them for (the CPM) market place with training, and professional product certification tracks to get their product certified and their people trained. The new sales tools and techniques (available on the Cognos extranet) will enable them to articulate the value proposition of Cognos. It is more about support,”” he said.

He added that margins would remain the same, but that Cognos will address that issue at a later date.

Malandra does anticipate more partners coming on board because of this plan. Resellers interested in joining the Cognos partner program can visit www.cognos.com/partners/index.html.

“”We want a flourishing partner ecosystem within Cognos. One that increases overall partner satisfaction in terms of the level of support and communication that they get from Cognos. More partners across all the different partner categories as well as more productive partnerships. One where the partner quality is increased as well because we have made that investment to better train and prepare our partners for the opportunities in the market place,”” Malandra said.

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