The vendor held its first Key Reseller Forum last month, where 10 of its top resellers were invited to present their views on how Sage is handling its channel responsibilities. Sage said it is planning another similar event later this month.
‘We decided that over the last two or three years we have not had enough contact with our resellers, which is why we decided to hold monthly forums to get a consensus [from partners] about what issues Sage should be looking at,’ said Phil Gordon, UK channel director at Sage.
‘There were a lot of interesting points made on the day and the resellers gave us some valuable opinions which we can take away and build on.’
Gordon added that some of the points raised included having more distinction between Sage Solution Centres and accredited resellers, Sage advertising its products more to firms, and Sage providing more marketing and education on its products to the end-user.
Positive feedback was also provided on Sage’s accreditation scheme, launched in 2001, Gordon said.
David Parsonage, director of Manchester-based reseller Apex Business Systems, was pleased with the progress Sage is making.
‘Sage is making an effort which reflects the change in management style from its early days. It shows Sage is actually hearing as well as listening, which is important from a partner’s point of view,’ he said.
The accreditation scheme shows that Sage wants a quality channel, which makes a big difference to sales, Parsonage said.
John Linney, director at London-based VAR Object Group, said Sage is taking a professional approach to its channel. ‘Sage has brought in an experienced team which understands how the channel works,’ he said.
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