Reseller boot camp keeps drawing recruits

Navision Canada has raised its partner population to 40, after graduating another six resellers from what is considered to be one of the toughest reseller training programs in IT.

The new reseller partners, known as Navision

Solution Centres, will give Navision a stronger foothold in targeted regions, according to Navision general manager John Macdonald.

“”We focused on Montreal, the West, Waterloo, Barrie,”” he said. “”We needed in certain areas to increase our sales and implementation power in the channel.””

The new reseller partners include Edmonton’s Banks-Hill Systems Ltd., Ottawa’s Northern Micro Inc., Arrowmark Business Solutions Inc. of Barrie, Ont., Second Foundation Consulting Inc. of Waterloo, Ont. and two Montreal resellers, Philosys and Quasimodo Consultants Infomatique.

Serge LaForge, Quasimodo’s vice-president of operations, said the company was attracted to the Navision program because of Navision’s dedication to the channel and to improving its software and because of the company’s global profile.

“”People want to know that what they’re buying has presence in the world because of globalization,”” LaForge said.

As well, he noted interest from Quasimodo’s high-end customers in Navision software.

But only Navision Solution Centres can resell that software. And to become a Navision Solution Centre, resellers must first develop with Navision a business plan, based on Navision’s business methodology. Once the plan is approved, five employees of the reseller must be trained and certified. Mary Steacy, a partner at Richmond Hill, Ont.’s Equation Technologies, which was named a Navision Solution Centre in January, called the program “”gruelling.””

LaForge said Navision’s was the toughest program his company had completed, but spoke positively of the 80 per cent mark a reseller’s employees must realize on the final exam in order for the reseller to become a Navision Solution Centre.

“”It means only a serious candidate can go through,”” LaForge said. “”Because we have to train our people so tough, it only brings up the level of success to our own customers.

“”If we don’t have the knowledge to [implement] it, there’s no use in selling it, because it’s going to end up in a lawsuit.””

Macdonald also defended the program’s rigorous nature, in spite of the fact it might scare off some potential partners.

“”It’s necessary, because to deliver, we need to ensure that there’s a consistent high quality among our partners,”” he said. “”It gives (customers) a sense that we’re requiring a certain level of capability from our partners.””

McDonald said Navision now has all major markets in Canada covered. Though he says there are still some geographies that coul be stronger, he said geography is no longer the priority.

“”At this point, we’ll be looking to grow our partners in terms of vertical knowledge,”” he said.

He said he wants to see each partner become the leader in a different vertical market.

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