Boomi continues to build out partner program introduced this spring

Boomi VP of Global Business Development David Tavolaro said that measured by partner enthusiasm, the Partner Summit at Boomi World 18 was a major success. He also emphasized that the partner program has continued to evolve successfully since its April inception.

LAS VEGAS — Last April, cloud integration and workflow automation software provider Dell Boomi announced a fundamental redo of their channel partner program, which reflected their evolution from a smaller company focused solely on application integration, to a larger company whose platform had added capabilities around workflow automation, master data management, next-gen EDI management and API design and management. Taking stock of the transformation on Partner Summit, kicking off Boomi World, David Tavolaro, who leads Boomi’s channel business as Vice President of Global Business Development, reviewed the state of the partner program and expressed satisfaction with the results to date.

“We delivered over 1200 projects with partners in the last 12 months,” he told partners in his keynote address. “Our Select and Elite Segments drive 70 per cent of our channel business. Partners double our average deal size. The channel is also trending with where Boomi is going. Our partners are delivering larger solutions to larger customers. The number of enterprise customers partners are bringing to us has grown exponentially in the last 12 months.”

Highlighting the work of BlackLine, which automates accounting processes, Tavolaro emphasized the achievements of Boomi’s embedded partners, who are principally ISVs.

“We have added two dozen new embedded partners in the last 12 months,” he said. “We see this as a space where we can add a lot of value. We have 1200 shared customers with Netsuite and 1500 with Salesforce. We delivered integrations to 8 of the top 10 tech IPOs last year.

“We are adding some professional services packages focused on embedded to get embedded partners onboarded and up to speed around Boomi,” Tavolaro added. “By jump-starting professional services with packages, we can help them get up to speed faster.”

For implementation partners, Tavolaro stressed the value of the solutions playbook, which Boomi announced a week ago.

“It covers common use cases that we see about how people are implementing business, including IoT solutions,” he said. “It’s not a reference architecture, but it’s a ‘how to run the play’ guide. It tells you how many people you need to have people trained in this technology, the profile of types of customers, and from a delivery standpoint, here’s how you would deliver it to a customer. We rolled this out last week, and will build on it with additional plays.”

This year, Boomi has also introduced a product playbook, and additional partner enablement activities.

“The number of certifications and training continue to grow,” Tavolaro said. “We are adding additional training, around a 100 per cent increase in the number of courses. We have added new levels and more around Hub, Mediate, Flow and Exchange, and all these are fully supported in the program today and give additional pathways to serve customers and make money. We have seen a 115 per cent increase in new developer certifications on the Learning Management System. We are adding additional marketing assets, and building out more sales enablement assets by product, to help partners be able to position and sell the technologies. We have doubled our Partner Success Team over the past year.”

Tavolaro told partners that Boomi is in the process of making changes to their online Partner Finder to help them grow their businesses.

“These changes make it more granular,” he said. “Today, it is pretty basic, where you put in the location, and it gives you an answer of an available partner based on that. We will expand that for customers so that they can ask for a partner with expertise in x and y and at least x number of certified developers and x number of completed projects. Partners will be able to use it as well to find a complementary partner.”

Tavolaro indicated that Connect Now, one of the new initiatives being announced at the show, has a strong partner focus.

“It lets partners provide a self-service offering for users who lack expertise in integration,” he said. “We are starting more with embedded customers because that’s where we have the biggest need for it, but we will roll it out more broadly as we see a need for it. They want to give their customers the ability to quickly ingest data, so that they don’t have to do it themselves. It very much fits into the ‘citizen integrator’ aspect where functionality is democratized.”

Tavolaro indicated there has been significant partner interest around another new announcement, Bot SDK, – an accelerator toolkit that packages everything a Boomi developer needs to build a bot. It lets customers achieve faster time to market with bots that are highly integrated into their existing infrastructure and optimized for lead generation and ROI in as little as 15 minutes.

During the last year Dell Technologies has been strongly encouraging, and incenting, partners to sell more of the Dell Technologies stack, and that Dell EMC partners in particular should be adding other Dell companies to deals. Boomi has not been emphasized in the same way, but Tavolaro said it is happening, and that efforts to integrate Boomi sales with Dell to a greater degree has really ramped up this year.

“We work with the other Dell companies, but you don’t see it in a typical channel program way,” he said. “At the beginning of this fiscal year [February], we committed to sell more with Dell. We do see a lot of value at a Dell level. We do see an opportunity for Boomi to be part of that sales process. We have a team of people focused on Dell as a channel for Boomi, and their job is to work with Dell Enterprise and commercial sales teams and enable them. We do sales awareness with them, so they know how to position Boomi within a larger Dell initiative. We are having a great deal of success at it. We probably will do  4x-5x as much through Dell this year compared to last. We have several plays we are running around that.”

A good deal of this business is focused on Dell’s direct arm, but not all of it.

“We are also working with SABs [Strategically Aligned Businesses] – particularly Virtustream, Pivotal and VMware – to put together joint solution plays that we will go to market with,” Tavolaro said.

Messaging at Boomi World around the added value from using the platform functionality of Hub, Exchange, Mediate and Flow has been central, and accordingly, partners are also being strongly encouraged to sell the whole stack.

“At least three quarters of partners are selling more than just integration,” Tavolaro said. “Our more successful partners embrace the whole platform. Sometimes, it comes as a single sales motion. Sometimes, it’s a land and expand. Traditionally things start with integration, but we have had some success starting with Flow, the other end of the equation.”

Selling the whole stack isn’t compulsory to achieve recognition from Boomi, however. Ottawa-headquartered Solace, an event broker focused on messaging  who has been selling product since 2008, and who now have a strong global presence, won the North American Partner of the Year Award at the event. They are focused on Boomi’s core integration functionality, in a partnership that is less than a year old, but which has delivered strong results.

“Digital transformation needs a base level of communication in the cloud,” said Mychelle Mollot, Solace’s CMO. “Boomi handles integration and orchestration and we handle the event-based communication.” Their focus is purely on that integration functionality, however.

“We are a data movement specialist – 100 per cent – and our specialty is data movement across all different environments – private cloud, public cloud,  legacy, on-prem, or IoT,” Mollot said. “Integration and event-based data movement aren’t sexy but without them, you can’t have a digital transformation.”

Summing up the event, Tavolaro told ChannelBuzz it had been an unqualified success.

“The buzz here all week was tremendous,” he said. “We now have around 350 partners, and we aren’t looking to grow that tremendously, just fill in holes in geos and in expertise. We do need to have partners to have more people that are Boomi-capable in the marketplace, however.”