Cherwell has had a limited partner presence in Canada, but their partnership with Uni-TI, who will lead with them and promote them aggressively, is expected to have a significant impact.
Service management vendor Cherwell has signed a partnering agreement with Montréal-based integrator Uni-TI Consulting Group. It’s Cherwell’s first Québec-based partner, and the partnership is an important element in expanding their presence in Canada, in the French-speaking market in particular, and in reconstructing their channel strategy around a smaller cadre of highly motivated and highly effective partners.
Cherwell used to have a fairly large channel, with over 400 partners globally, but many were not active, and the channel as a whole was not very productive. Accordingly, last year they reorganized the channel, terminating about 80 per cent of the partners or allowing their agreements to lapse. From the new base of about 80, the plan is to build out incrementally with partners who will commit to them
Following the reorganization, the Canadian channel was very limited, with just a couple of partners.
“Canada is basically a green field opportunity for us,” said Scott Maysonave, channel manager for Cherwell. “The old Cherwell had a come-one come-all approach to partners. Since the reboot, it’s less about quantity and more about a high quality of partners. The idea is to draw on the expertise of their team and insight into the market, start a small fire together, and hopefully make it rage over time.”
Uni-TI is a brand new partner for Cherwell. They provide integration services with a focus on ITSM and change management, and while much of their business is in the Montréal area, they also have a presence in Québec City, and are working on opportunities in other regions, with their bilingual capabilities being a key asset. It was Uni-TI that took the initiative in beginning the partnership with Cherwell.
“It started through a review that we do on a yearly basis,” said Jean-François Cyr, principal associate at Uni-TI. “The vendors in our market like ServiceNow and Remedy are very centralized towards the big players, but we work more with midmarket and SMB customers, so these vendors are not a perfect fit. We looked at 25 vendors in the space, contacted them, and asked questions about the latest versions of their products. We hit it off very well with Cherwell. As we looked through market reviews, we found that they had the highest client satisfaction a year later. That’s very important for us, because it’s a long-term relationship with the customers. The breadth of what it can do was also important. It’s not just a ticketing system, and the scope of what it does challenges anything else out there. The low cost of supporting it was important as well, in terms of what you need. Remedy requires very technical people to maintain. This is just the opposite.”
Uni-TI saw Cherwell’s not being well-known in the Québec market as an asset.
“We saw that they had no partners here now, and were not well known here,” Cyr said. “No one was promoting them in the market. So we reached out.”
Uni-TI will not be working exclusively with Cherwell, but they will be leading with them.
“We consult with customers who use the bigger players, and provide advise around them, and we have other clients on them right now,” Cyr indicated. “We will make sure that they do the right thing. But we are making a strong commitment to Cherwell. It will be our core product for our midmarket sand SMB customers.
“We want to do more than just provide integration services around Cherwell,” Cyr added. “We want to make it known. Right now, it’s just a name in our market. We want to make it known what they can bring to the table. There’s a strong education element there.”
Uni-TI plans to promote Cherwell extensively in the Québec market.
“We will run an awareness campaign and use our social networking extensively,” Cyr said. “The Montréal IT community is a very small organization. Everybody knows everybody else. That will be the first phase. Phase two will be more direct, where we try to bring it to the table as an option. The TCO for other products is very high. We can demonstrate the cost-effective value of this for a mid size company.”
“This partnership will highlight our ability to deliver true service management around people, products and technology,” Maysonave said. “They are set up well to deliver that. Being able to deliver true value around services management becomes the centre of the conversation, not just the platform.”