I must admit to scratching my head just a little bit over what the differences were between the Independent Sage Certified Consultant Program and the newly announced Certified Implementation Partner Program (aka CIP). I think there are two reasons for CIP. Both would be brilliant moves by Sage.
Independent Certified Consultants are individuals. Not companies. You can read about that in Sage’s partner guide here.
According to Sage the CIP can be a firm or an individual. Big difference because under the prior rules Independent Certified Consultants were by definition sole proprietors.
Under CIP Sage have opened the door for two things:
- A path for existing partners who want to leave the world of reselling but still call themselves Authorized Sage Certified Implementation Partners (as opposed to Authorized Reseller). This could potentially help with future mergers and acquisitions since acquired companies would presumably not have to have employees become employed by the acquirer. Instead the firm could switch from Authorized Reseller to Certified Implementation Partner status.
- A path for Sage to refer implementation work when an end user buys directly from Sage. Under this route Sage presumably would not have to share in commission or future recurring revenue as they presently do if they refer work to an Authorized Reseller.
Essentially what’s occurring is that Sage have started the groundwork for a second non-reselling channel. Here’s the details of the new program. I think it’s a brilliant move for Sage.
Partners who position themselves the right way and require adoption of their own support plans for implementation customers also can benefit handsomely. This new program is the kiss of death for the hourly biller who continues to think that break fix and on calls support will continue to be profitable in the new age of apps and self-installation.