Getting Into The Bulls-eye

Retooled partner programs find their targets.

The software and networking makers are not alone. A host of vendors ranging from Voice over IP to portal technology are re-tuning their partner program initiatives in bids to expand their indirect sales efforts.

In some cases that may mean expanded opportunities for partners, more technical help, and various marketing and lead generation programs.

In the case of CUseeMe Networks, the firm expects a majority of its 2001 sales of voice- and video-collaboration software to come through its new partner program announced last week.

The company will target developers and integrators of desktop collaboration solutions rather than traditional big-ticket videoconferencing resellers. Headed by Ray Cavanaugh, newly appointed VP of sales, the channel program also will support a new product offering to debut in late March.

Voice over IP (VoIP) applications run better over Sitara Networks Quality of Service (QoS) platform, according to tests conducted by Miercom. Sitara introduced a Quality VoIP Partner Program last week.

VoIP gateway vendor Quintum Technologies and IPBX maker Siemens Information and Communication Networks Group are among the first manufacturers to support Sitaras VoIP QoS initiative.

In the area of portals, CoVia, a portal technology and services provider introduced a three-pronged partner program. The initiative allows channel partners to incorporate CoVias InfoPortal platform into their offerings.

Some channel partners such as system integrator and consultancy IMRI are jumping aboard. "CoVia has broadened our ability to help our clients increase communication and collaboration with internal and external audiences," says Mitchell Joelson, COO of IMRI. He says the platform allows customers to increase sales effectiveness and customer loyalty.

ASP partners like EduPortal say they can now customize and lease CoVia InfoPortal to vertical markets. The third prong of the program addresses partners whose products or services complement InfoPortal, such as EnterWorks business process and content integration suite.

Unitas Corp. has cast itself as a developer and integrator of enterprise portals. Those portals make information from databases and other sources available at the desktop. Merrill Lynch projects the business for enterprise portals to grow from its current $4 billion to $5 billion annual market, to more than $14 billion by 2002.

Unitas was formed Feb. 26 by the merger of former Level 3 Communications subsidiary Database Technologies, Innervision Technologies and Cambridge, Mass.-based consultancy Gooseworks. Unitas already has forged industry alliances with enterprise portal software vendors, including Autonomy, Epicentric, Plumtree and Viador. It also has formed a partnership with The Delphi Group, a leading consulting firm involved in enterprise portal research.