PRM provider Impartner continues the expansion of their channel routes to market, choosing TDSYNNEX to work with in a North America-wide deal in large part because of the distributor’s close work with Microsoft.
Partner Relationship Management [PRM] provider Impartner has historically done most of its business direct, selling their channel management platforms to companies who need or who want to upgrade their existing partner management tools. Over the last few years however, they have been adding specific types of partners to their Go-to-Market model. Now, for the first time, they have turned to distribution, through a North America-wide agreement with TDSYNNEX. It will see Impartner’s PRM and Through Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) solutions made available TD SYNNEX resellers, specifically those with a practice around Microsoft Dynamics.
Until the arrival of Mark Rogers, SVP of Global Strategic Accounts and Partnerships at Impartner as Chief Revenue Officer in 2015, the company’s model was almost entirely direct.
“When I came on board, I became CRO and built a small channel of consulting partners,” Rogers told ChannelBuzz. “We had a few from Treehouse [which Impartner was known as before 2015]. We added more channel advisory services – not service delivery and post services. We also added a small number of influencers on the pre-sales side. They also helped optimize investments because of best practices expertise, automated business planning, automated tiering, and journey building. Those are greater capabilities but if you don’t have best practices, what are you automating?”
Still, the Impartner channel remained limited, not just as a percentage of business, but in what it did.
“It has been a quiet smaller channel, which wasn’t focused on revenue but on net retention, which is as important as ARR for a SaaS company,” Rogers said. “But we realized we were getting a lot of insights from larger ISVs like Model N, and we started to build out an ISV channel, integrating with companies like Steelbrick, which Salesforce bought. That started around 2018. We also saw demand for more technical prowess post-sales. This involved working through big CRMs like Microsoft and Salesforce and bringing in good SIs like Tata Consulting, who are heavily focused on Microsoft Dynamics and on the Salesforce-focused companies as well. We use them to refer us to new customers, and they like the fact that we stay away from professional services. We give them to these good SIs.
“We then built out a referral partner channel to build out pipeline, consisting of ISVs, SIs and consulting partners, the latter of which is trickier because this type of partner typically does not want to be tied to a vendor. This channel has helped us build our revenue in a big way.”
The TDSYNNEX deal helps to fill out what Impartner sees as the last piece of the puzzle.
“What we were missing was the reseller side, companies who want to sell our product,” Rogers said. “This also includes marketing agencies like Guerilla ICT, who work with clients to deliver and drive leads to help build pipeline. Our TCMA solution fits perfectly for them.
So why did Impartner choose to partner with TDSYNNEX over its competitors when moving into its first distribution deal?
“Microsoft is a key partner of ours” Rogers stated. “We are their PRM vendor because they don’t have a PRM to counter Salesforce Communities. TDSYNNEX is their largest distributor, and they have a greater ecosystem of SIs and resellers. It makes sense to bring them together.”
The Impartner solutions are a natural fit working with CRM, which is why Impartner focuses on that, with the Microsoft connection being why they focus on Dynamics.
“CRM provides the deep dive for direct sales, but for indirect sales, 70% of all transactions are done through the channel,” Rogers indicated. “Companies don’t give CRM access to partners but PRMs are aligned with the data without owning it, and they front-end the CRM. We want to go after Microsoft resellers for Dynamics.”
Impartner’s plan is to be selective in the number of Microsoft partners that they take on.
“Theres a good pool of Microsoft partners at TDSYNNEX, and we will start with a good 10-20 out of the blocks,” Rogers said. “We will take this in a very disciplined approach, because it is a specialized and highly focused solution in the channel stack. The requirements to sell and support it are heavily aligned with the CRM space. With these Dynamics resellers, we want to build out stronger subject matter expertise. We don’t see it as ‘crawl, walk and run,’ but more like ‘walk, skip and sprint.’ These partners can help us get into new markets and expand our vertical strategy.”
Rogers said that Impartner expects the TDSYNNEX relationship to evolve further.
“TDSYNNEX is very open and creative in terms of creating a better experience for own partners,” he stated. “We also see other areas with opportunities to work together to create new solutions for the market. That has unlimited potential.
They are a very, very good partnering company – and they view us very strategically.”
Impartner views both Microsoft and North America as launch pads for broader expansion later.
“We start in North America including Canada and will expand to EMEA, with other geos maybe coming later,” Rogers noted. “We are not trying to boil the ocean. We are not limited to Microsoft, but that’s a great place to start.”