Navision signs up eight more VARs under channel program

One of eight newly-minted Navision Canada resellers says no other training course compares in intensity to Navision’s Solution Centre program.

“”It’s a very grueling process,”” said Mary Steacy, a partner at Equation

Technologies, of Richmond Hill, Ont. “”Not only is it exhausting just in the commitment of time and the exam writing. Committing those kinds of resources in a short period of time, pulling them out of billable work, the commitment on both sides is very significant.””

To become a Navision Solution Centre, resellers must first develop with Navision a business plan, based on Navision’s own business methodology. Once the plan is approved, five employees of the reseller must be trained and certified. For Equation, which has only 14 employees, those are especially demanding requirements.

But Steacy also said Navision’s rigorous program pays dividends.

“”One of the reasons we selected Navision was the quality of their channel,”” she said. And, obviously, I can see why their channel is so good.””

Also named as new Navision Solution Centres Thursday were Mont-Royal, Quebec-based Absys Inc., Mississauga, Ont.’s Axentia Solutions Corp. and Blue Habanero Inc., Laval, Quebec-based Strophe, Xonitek Systems Ltd., of Richmond Hill, Ont., Calgary’s Quality Directions Group Inc. and Open Door Technology, based in both Calgary and Edmonton. The eight join 21 other Navision Solution Centres certified in the company’s Attain software solution in Canada.

John Macdonald, general manager of Navision Canada, said Navision looks to strike a balance in its resellers, and said the new resellers have different expertise and represent different parts of the mid-market, which Attain targets. Equation, for example, has experience in financial and distribution verticals and focuses on the middle-revenue area of the mid-market.

“”The mid-market is very diverse,”” Macdonald said. “”There’s businesses out there with revenues of $10 million and those with revenues of $250 million. Blue Habanero has a lot of experience at the high end of the mid-market, as does Axentia. We have a number of other partners that have traditionally focused on the mid-mid market. Others have a specific focus on supply chain.

“”Navision spans that spectrum; we want the partners to focus on specifics.””

Macdonald acknowledges Navision’s program, in existence for 18 years, is intense. He said he expects resellers to plan to go beyond having the required five employees certified, and take advantage of further free Navision training, which, he said, translates into more revenue. Macdonald also said Navision wants resellers to participate in marketing along with Navision.

“”We want them to be going out and doing their own marketing to the types of clients they want to go after.””

Though Navision asks a lot from resellers, Macdonald said that as resellers develop their business plan, they see the potential return on investment the Solution Centre program can deliver.

“”It’s a big commitment, but we’re able to show them a return-on-investment for that commitment,”” he said.

Steacy agreed, noting the program allowed Equation to take a closer look at its business direction and showed Equation that its projects could be deployed faster with Navision. She said Navision’s software has features absent from the offerings of its competitors.

“”Navision, it seemed, had a model that maximized what we get for each project we sell,”” she said. “”We were looking to have more projects that were team-driven. We were looking to take the average project size and double the revenue, because almost the same amount of energy goes into a small project as a large one.””

Navision launched the Attain program in November.

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