Fresche Partner Plan Aims At Expanded Reach
June 27, 2016 Dan Burger
Just two weeks ago, the company now known as Fresche (formerly Fresche Legacy) announced it was purchasing Quadrant Software and its key IBM i application modernization subsidiary BCD Software. The combination of BCD and Fresche’s previous acquisition of looksoftware puts a smorgasbord of modernization choices on the Fresche menu, including an instrumental application analysis tool. The latest news from Fresche is the rollout of a global partner program.
The company hopes to attract a mix of IBM i independent software vendors (ISVs), value added resellers (VARs), independent consultants, and system integrators to its newly minted Power Partner Program. It plans to do this with its array of modernization software products, along with services, support, and education.
Jennifer Fisher, vice president in charge of the global channel, is preparing for a future in which IBM i shops will be looking for assistance in moving forward. The key for many companies to move forward is application modernization. And Fresche believes companies will prefer to work on modernization projects with their existing trusted partners. The partner program is designed to work with the trusted partners and prepare them for modernization work.
“IBM i shops trust and believe in the partners they have been working with for decades. We want to help those partners reinvent themselves by adding the Fresche product line,” Fisher says. “The world has changed. End customers are looking for new things.”
The VARs might be particularly interested in this. They have traditionally relied on hardware sales, particularly server sales, which aren’t exactly like they used to be. The message from Fresche is that the products and services that surround modernization projects can replace the lost revenue from server sales. This shift has been under way for several years, but modernization efforts have yet to attain their peak momentum. The mixture of tools and skills will likely be in demand in the coming years.
ISVs with products that need modernization are also being pursued by Fresche. In addition to being consumers of Fresche’s products and services, the ISVs also have trusted relationships with their customers and Fresche believes ISVs will see value in helping their customers who have modernization on their minds.
Fisher says the program will rely heavily on training and education.
“We can help them obtain the skills to sell, implement, and service modernization projects or we can provide the implementation and service after the sale. Maybe they just want to do referrals. They don’t want to do the selling. They just want to help a customer get where the customer wants to go,” she explains.
The same thinking applies for the independent consultants and system integrators.
“Strategically, we are looking to expanding global reach,” says Steve Woodard, chief revenue officer at Fresche and formerly the CEO at Quadrant Software. “We have our eye on geographies where we are currently not well established.”
Fresche has placed dedicated channel managers in North America; Latin America; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and Asia/Pacific.
“What distinguishes what Fresche is doing now compared to what it did a year ago, for instance, is the breadth of the products and services it now provides. Often customers don’t know where to go or how to get there. We understand and we have a service component within our organization. We can help with strategy and a road map. A majority of these people may have relationships with a one-off, a provider of one technology or one solution. Those are good partners but they are limited in what they can offer their customers,” Fisher says.
Multiple factors come into play with the strategy Fresche is emphasizing. There’s the struggle individual IBM i shops are having to align business processes and information technology, which has gotten more complex. That coincides with reduced IT staffs at many companies. Software has more built-in automation that allows companies to compensate for reduced IT headcounts. Services are put in place to reduce the complexity for the buyer. To a large degree, they are the new and improved skills and expertise that companies find in short supply in their own workforces. Conquering complexity by renting IT and business skills are opportunities for those who possess the expertise.