SugarCRM today announced its expansion of the SugarCRM Open+ Partner Program, which includes new business planning and support to help partners drive more revenue, the formation of a partner advisory board, and a partner certification program.
These program enhancements come as SugarCRM is experiencing significant growth and accelerating momentum in its channel-focused business model, with 39 new partners signing on in the first quarter of 2012. In support of this strong channel growth, SugarCRM is also announcing the signing of a new channel distribution agreement with Ingram Micro, an IT distributor.
"The changes we've made to our partner program recognize the value our partners bring to the Sugar ecosystem," said Jeff Campbell, vice president of worldwide sales and customer advocacy at SugarCRM, in a statement. "We're giving them the support they need to exceed their goals, and we're also providing greater access for partners to SugarCRM executives at the highest levels."
To help partners grow their businesses and generate more revenue, SugarCRM is creating new marketing and business planning programs to help partners increase their sales effectiveness. As partners meet their goals, SugarCRM will provide additional incentives to enable partners to increase the profitability of their SugarCRM business.
SugarCRM has also formed a 12-member partner advisory board, which will provide guidance and feedback from the partner community to SugarCRM.
"The advisory board is evidence of SugarCRM's continued commitment to its partners," said Jim Ward, president and CEO of BrainSell Technologies and president of the advisory board. "It will play a big part in encouraging our open dialogue with partners and Sugar executives about product development and new ideas for improving our performance."
SugarCRM is also launching a formal certification program, including a role-based training curriculum. The certification program will assure channel partners that their employees are receiving the training and skills they need to manage their SugarCRM business, and customers that they are working with partners who are knowledgeable and up-to-date on the most current SugarCRM products and programs.
SugarCRM will now offer classes and course plans for the strategic roles that individuals play in partner organizations, including sales executive, pre-sales engineer, support consultant, service consultant, and developer. All channel partners are now required to certify at least one person for each of the sales executive, pre-sales engineer, and service consultant roles.
All training and certification programs will include basic overviews of the SugarCRM solution, process and resource classes that provide insights into online tools, and specific product knowledge classes such as solution training and solutions development.
The SugarCRM Open+ Partner Program has more than 400 partners worldwide, and between 2010 and 2011, partner-source deals tripled. SugarCRM saw its partners achieve great success in selling and providing support for SugarCRM solutions in 2011: 15 partners experienced more than 300 percent subscription revenue growth, 30 partners experienced more than 200 percent subscription revenue growth, and 70 partners experienced more than 75 percent subscription revenue growth.
The strong performance of SugarCRM partners have contributed to the company's overall success: In Q1 2012, SugarCRM's billings growth increased by 24 percent over the previous quarter and climbed by 118 percent globally over the same quarter in 2011. The company also added nearly 700 new customers in Q1.