Top Software Vendor ISV Partner Programs Rated

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

A new report from Forrester Research breaks down the ISV channel partner programs of Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, IBM and Salesforce.com.

While Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP and Salesforce.com each offer a channel program for ISV partners, not all programs are the alike, and partners should evaluate each carefully to find the best fit before they allocate their scarce resources to one or the other.

A new study from Forrester Research called Choosing an ISV Partner Program takes a look at the ISV channel programs of all five vendors – four software giants and one disruptive player -- evaluating the various aspects of the programs.  And rather than offer a sweeping generalization about the best program for various types of ISVs, the report advises partners to look at a number of factors when making a decision.

"It's about fit," says Merv Adrian, the report's author and a senior vice president at analyst firm Forrester Research. For example, different ISV companies enter the value cycle at different points, Adrian says, with smaller companies entering at the "Build" part of the cycle.

Microsoft offers more support and resources for companies in that "Build" phase of the cycle, so Microsoft's ISV program is typically well suited for smaller ISVs or those who are just getting started.

"Companies like SAP and Salesforce don't make a big program investment around helping people build that first product, but Microsoft does have a lot to offer there," Adrian says. IBM also offers support to those in the "Build" phase but "if you want to move up in the IBM program you have to show how you are leveraging hardware sales," says Adrian. He breaks down the value chain into four entry points: Build, Market, Sell and Manage.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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