Around supper time last night a message came in from Sage with details around the new certification requirements for Sage partners. One component which some quickly latched onto was a requirement to travel to attend a class on consulting skills.
The complaints center around several things:
Cost to travel
Missed time from the office
Feeling as if partners with 25+ years experience don’t have much to learn in such a class
Maybe some of these issues are valid – but I don’t think so.
Instead what I think the channel partners of Sage should do is double down on these new requirements and begin seriously collaborating with each other on areas such as technical support and product knowledge.
I’m not naive enough to think that partners will collaborate on areas like sales – which many consider proprietary even though they all essentially use the same tired methods that they’ve been using since the Pre-Y2K days.
Instead what these new certifications present is a golden opportunity to collaborate with your fellow Sage partners at an off-site location that you all attend. Come up with ways to monetize group skills whether that’s around reporting, scripting or simply shared technical support (which will come in handy once Sage strips away your access to unlimited cases).
With the current trend in the channel toward consolidation more partners than ever are becoming affiliated with larger parent organizations. This creates geographically disperse teams that rarely meet in person. Perhaps these new certification requirements are the perfect reason to bring your teams together in one place. Maybe, just maybe, Sage is presenting you with a golden opportunity that you just haven’t seen.
Couldn’t one member of your group bring a laptop and lead some training after the Sage classes that furthers the groups skills in one or two technical areas?
Sage’s new certification requirements – especially if they require you to travel for classes – can either be the best thing or the worst.