Corel Corp.’s partner portal was literally all over the map. According to Brett Denly, vice-president of worldwide marketing for the Ottawa-based software developer, the company addressed partner communications with many portals, all in different languages, for markets around the world.

“”Corel

has grown on the channel and lives on the channel and it was important to us to understand our channel and felt we had good relationships but we did not capture all of their needs in one place,”” Denly said.

With that in mind, Corel launched Corel Connected (www.corelconnected.com), a new portal to serving Corel’s partner base around the globe.

Corel Connected equips Corel’s partners with a centralized source of information about the company’s products, programs and services. The portal provides secure, tiered access for Corel partners, delivering an online experience, which is tailored to meet their specific needs.

Laura Storrie, marketing program manager for Corel, and the person who spearheaded this project, said the company listened to partners in each area and even reviewed other vendors’ portal offerings include rival Microsoft.

“”We wanted to get everyone in one place and make it easier for them to obtain documents and support. We listen to multiple partners for each program and looked at our relationships with Mom and Pop-shops to strategic partners to distributors (to build the Corel Connected portal),”” she said.

Both Denly and Storrie are not worried that Corel may be late to the partner portal game with several other vendors announcing partner portals early in 2002.

“”We had a channel portal prior to this, but it was diverse. There was one in Europe and it was a matter of making it up-to-date and in multiple countries and in multi-languages,”” Denly said.

Corel Connected attempts to address the needs of different audiences, Storrie said. They include resellers, training partners, technology and service provider partners as well as Corel Approved Service Bureaus (CASB). The reason for this is that partners are inundated with vendors and Corel recognize this and want to be on the “”edge”” and help them maintain a level of interest while keep their lives easier, she said.

 

Also available on the portal will be product updates, demo versions, white papers, marketing information, technical resources and the ability to order product.

There will be no link to rebates or marketing funds as they are handled with another program or negotiated separately between Corel and the partners.

The portal is currently accessible to partners based in North America. It will be rolled out to partners serving international customers, as well as Corel suppliers, agencies and all other organizations, which work with the Corel, within the next few months. Partners will receive specific instructions on how to log into the portal from their Corel representative shortly, the company said.

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