The rapidly expanding global partner program at Aptos, Inc., a market leader in retail technology solutions, captured the spotlight at the company’s annual global sales kick-off meeting in October.
For fiscal year 2017, Aptos and its partners collaborated on a record number of projects. And in 2018, the company predicts that a greater share of its global implementations will be delivered by partners.
To learn more about the company’s partner program, Channel Marketer Report reached out to Danny Rosenoff, Aptos vice president, strategic alliances.
CMR — How long has Aptos been selling and marketing its technology through partners?
Danny Rosenoff — When Aptos spun-off from Epicor in June 2015, it gave our organization the opportunity to evaluate and redefine the role partners played within our business and with our customers.
Starting in 2016, Aptos launched a new partner program and started investing in our partner ecosystem. As a result, we have a dedicated and growing network of partners who are selling and helping to implement our solutions around the world.
CMR — At your sales meeting in October, the company announced record results for its partner program, and more growth in the coming year.
Danny Rosenoff — For fiscal year 2017, Aptos and its partners collaborated on a record-high 165 client projects. Looking ahead to fiscal year 2018, we are confident that over 30 percent of our global implementations will be delivered with partners. To us, it represents a sizeable, yet attainable increase that is very much in-line with the momentum the partner program is experiencing.
CMR — What contributed to the record growth in 2017?
Danny Rosenoff — Building and growing a partner program is like anything else in life and in business – you get out of it what you put into it. Aptos has been making significant investments in our partner program and laying the framework to support sustainable growth. We’ve invested in learning management systems and training programs, and have focused on on-boarding partners in a way that promotes mutual success from day one.
We have also allocated seasoned Aptos executives to train and mentor strategic partners. We collaborate with partners in a manner that is consistent with The Aptos Way, our company’s commitment to transparency, community and mutual respect.
CMR — What were the biggest challenges to growing sales through partners?
Danny Rosenoff — Aptos has been very strategic in its partner selection process; we focus on identifying the right partners for our customers and those who are aligned with the Aptos culture. The quality over quantity approach tends to take longer to scale, but we were adamant that this was the right path forward for Aptos.
To support this, we conducted a series of partner “boot camps” attracting 100+ attendees, and then we selected the right mix of boutique and large-sized partner organizations. Making sure we identified the right partners who were committed to the Aptos journey and Engaging Customers Differently was our priority, but not without its challenges.
Once partners are selected, it’s our job to ensure they receive robust onboarding resources, in-depth product training, ongoing certification and tools to deliver unparalleled customer success.
CMR — How much does Aptos plan to expand its implementations through partners? Could partner implementations exceed direct sales in the foreseeable future?
Danny Rosenoff — Our vision is that Aptos will always play a role in implementations as an enabler. As our partners gain more Aptos project experience, we see Aptos taking a consultative role in supporting highly experienced retail systems integrators.
CMR — Is Aptos targeting any particular segment or region with its partner organization?
Danny Rosenoff — Aptos has over a dozen offices across the Americas, EMEA and APAC. In specific regions where Aptos does not have a presence, we will look to in-country partners with localized retail expertise to sell and implement our solutions.
CMR — Because many partner programs are part of their company’s sales organization, channel marketers often have limited integration with the larger marketing organization. What is the relationship between the Aptos’ marketing organization and its channel marketing team?
Danny Rosenoff — When launching Aptos’ partner program in 2016, Aptos recognized the importance of ensuring tight integration between its corporate marketing and channel marketing functions. To make this a reality, corporate and channel marketing teams both report to Aptos’ global marketing leader. As a result, Aptos’ partner program – and its partners – receives dedicated, extensive and unified marketing support.