New united OpenText Partner Network to emphasize cross-selling, customer retention and midmarket growth

The integration of the existing OpenText program with the acquired assets from Micro Focus makes the new channel more diverse, and includes features like the OpenText Aviator Thrust program for Partners, to enable partners to build solutions with OpenText Cloud API services.

Sandy Ono, OpenText’s EVP and CMO

Information technology vendor OpenText has announced their new unified OpenText Partner Network, which brings together OpenText’s original partner ecosystem with the one acquired from Micro Focus. Both ecosystems had different strengths, and the unified program is designed to combine the best of both, as well as to support partners in OpenText’s strategic emphasis on AI and cloud.

Sandy Ono, OpenText’s EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, had the responsibility for bringing the two channel organizations together.

“About three months ago, I took on managing the Alliances and Partners teams,” Ono told ChannelBuzz. “This was also six months into the acquisition and as we had already been reorganizing internally, we wanted to reorganize the OpenText Partner Network as well. This is the real start of the rollout of the two combined programs.”

Measured by the size of the partner networks, this was quite a large partner integration, with more than 30,000 partners between OpenText and Micro Focus combined.

“On the enterprise side, Micro Focus brought a more robust reseller community,” Ono said. “OpenText, on the other hand, was stronger in the MSP and MSSP business.” Partners are now grouped into five segments: system integrators; resellers; strategic partners [of whom the large hyperscalers are the most critical], and technology partners, including both ISVs and OEMs.

The new program is primarily an integration of Micro Focus’s partners into the OpenText platform, and giving them equivalent standing, but it is somewhat more complicated than that, and also reflects changes brought over from Micro Focus that OpenText thought were a better fit.

“We have moved from three tiers to four, with more defined requirements now around the higher tiers,” Ono said. “OpenText had also been very focused on  product specialization, while Micro Focus was more open. We thought the Micro Focus approach would be more appropriate given the priority we want to make for partners to sell more solutions across the unified solution set.”

Ono said that the strategic objectives that underlay the new program are more interesting than the restructured tiers themselves. They start with that new emphasis on cross-selling to enterprise customers.

“We are opening up the portfolio with Smarter With OpenText, so that partners can access more products from across the portfolio to sell,” she said.

Another component is the OpenText Cloud Acceleration Program. Aimed mainly at midmarket partners, it is focused on building new business and growth opportunities for partners through OpenText public cloud offerings.

“This is part of our emphasis to make sure that all our core content is now available as a cloud offering,” Ono said

“The OpenText Aviator Thrust program for Partners plays more to our SI and technology partners,” Ono indicated. “it is for partners who want to build with us, where they use OpenText Cloud API services to build customer services for clients. We would like to get about 15 partners involved in our beta on this over the next couple of months.”

Another priority is to get stronger in the midmarket space.

“In each unit, we have a few right-sized for midmarket and would like to add to this,” Ono stated.

Strengthening customer retention is also a top priority.

“We have done a lot of lifecycle retention marketing, which is net new, as well as targeting new logo acquisition and the public sector,” Ono said.

All this was presented to the partners on Partner Day at the event, and Ono said that the reaction was extremely positive.

“They appreciated hearing a reaffirmation of our commitment to the channel,” she said “We also did a panel of strategic partners with a message of co-innovation, which included SAP, Google, Deloitte and TCS. We are excited to be driving growth together with the channel.”