While browsing the Internet I came across this PRO Partner Program from Illinois Sage VAR Hightower Inc.
According to the brochure the PRO stands not for professional but for:
What’s interesting about this program is the terms of their PRO Partner Program (Profit, Resource & Opportunity) appear to create an easy environment for Sage partners to dodge the new certification requirements while still retaining a variable level of commission on both new product and maintenance sales.
Other VARS have worked to consolidate smaller Sage partners though in most cases it appears that Sage have required the remote offices to toe the line with respect to continued certifications to ensure quality implementation and support.
In short my impression is that Sage have been discouraging the creation of buying pools or Master VARS which might be created for smaller VARS to combine their purchasing power and avoid any increasing tier or program requirements introduced by Sage.
Unusual in this program is the following detail (all publicly received via their website here) :
No Certifications Required
Save the cost and time it takes to remain certified. Did you know that by March 2012, multiple certifications will be required for a reseller to provide support?
No Membership Fees
HighTower pays your $ 500 SAA Member Program fee and provides a safe haven for your customers. HighTower also has less stringent participation requirements
According to the public literature any qualifying PRO Partner could receive 25% margin for selling Sage product and 10% for Sage maintenance – with no certification requirements.
It remains to be seen whether Hightower Inc is fashioning this for CPA firms only – or whether they are also looking to gather Sage Partners. A quick reading of their Hightower PRO Partner Program brochure does seem as if this is an alternate partner program for Sage partners who don’t want to invest in certification.
Will 2012 be the year of the Sage buying group / master VAR ?
Full Disclosure: Wayne Schulz is a Senior Consultant at Schulz Consulting and also works for DSD Business Systems in their Connecticut office where he pursues sales opportunities. As with all blog posts contained here, the views expressed on this web site are his personal opinions and do not reflect the ideas, opinons or policies of any other entity.