Sander Sebastian Agur, Erply VP of Business Development, explains what a partner can expect, what are the risks and benefits.
“Darn, it would be great sell our own full range enterprise management software, but there are major players already. We’ll never make it with our own product.” Thousands of companies in enterprise software development have come to this conclusion. “What should I do now, go on with developing bits and pieces for a diverse range of third-party software?” asks the CEO.
It’s true that building one’s own successful software environment becomes less and less conceivable.
And it’s not really feasible to code for a wide range of business software, as sophisticated systems need experience and deep knowledge.
Focusing on a particular software package is obviously a good idea, but the flow of subscription fees for the package passes the developer without leaving a penny behind.
So how should a business software developer go on? For an increasing number of software companies, the dead end feeling brings a new beginning. Franchising is the word that changes the enterprise software market forever.
ERPLY is a cloud-based enterprise resource management and Point-of-Sale suite, which owns its international triumph to a multifaceted and evolving set of features that cover just about every need that a retailer or a manufacturer might have.
In just a few months, Erply launched a partner program, which essentially brings the franchise business model into the lucrative world of ERP software suites. The idea is dead simple. If you’re an entrepreneur or a company with software development experience, you can get all the ERP tools, training and 24h customer support from Erply.
It’s a 99% chance that building your own application or environment with a small team is a waste of effort. Think of webstores, which is a small yet visible part of ERP applications: Magento, BigCommerce, Shopify, Prestashop, LemonStand, WooCommerce, OpenCart… Would you really build one more? Or, coming to full ERP software solution, play David and Goliath with SAP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Oracle, Netsuite, Sage 100 or Erply.
Partnering with a big buddy lets you grow your business fast and reap a nice share of a subscription fee, plus the consultation, implementation and support fees your clients pay you. It’s pretty much like MacDonald’s or Kentucky Fried Chicken, with the exception that reselling the ERP software package brings dollars, not cents, and you have a real chance to be the number one ERP provider in your home territory.
To our knowledge, ERPLY Partner Program offers the most welcoming conditions that are tailored case by case. ERPLY’s business model emphasizes scalability, which means the company is not afraid to share the profits with partners.
Stop! If you’re a true entrepreneur, you must have to start to doubt now. Is there a Catch 22? What should I fear if my business partners up with a fast-growing international ERP provider? What is the risk involved? How big is the effort I have to make? Here’s what Mr. Sander Sebastian Agur, the guy behind ERPLY’s partner program, has to say.
So Where’s The Catch?
There’s none really. The only risk for a partner is that if they drop out, they lose the one-time commitment fee. It’s the first year of operation and we haven’t had cases like that.
The commitment fee varies according to the partner exclusivity requested. We see a huge value in ERPLY’s products, especially in emerging markets, where our partner can instantly become the market leader.
Imagine you’re bigger than Oracle in a region where millions live. We are already very happy to work with partners in Mexico and India. These are huge markets, where modern cloud-based ERP systems have just now started to gain a foot.
The commitment fee several times lower than startup fee of a MacDonald’s restaurant. Unless the partner wants the exclusive right for a large region, the fee can easily be just a few thousand bucks. Basically, we just charge for the time we invest in partner training. So the commitment fee and working hours is the only possible loss if the partner does not make it.
Which Kind Of Background Do You expect From ERPLY Partners?
We haven’t made a compliance list. Experience in the field of software retail or development is expected but not compulsory, if the partner knows how to engage experienced staff. We see three kinds of partners.
A Solution Partner is a system integrator that implements ERPLY retail software and desires a strategic relationship. A Technology Partner is a third-party software company that provides software that extends and enhances the capabilities of the retail software. A Master Distributor is an official partner for distribution and sales of our standard software in a country or a region.
To start up the business, a partner could have just a few employees, because we offer customer support, too. Sure a partner who already has clients has a head start but success really depends on the ambition.
In Mexico, we teamed up with an experienced company who had released their own accounting software. They want to expand their services and instead of spending a whole lot of effort on building new tools, they just built an integration with ERPLY suite. ERPLY has invested 10 years and millions of development and live testing hours into the products, and a partner has these practically instantly.
One of our largest partners is Elisa, a huge telecom company covering Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. They offer our Point-of-Sale, rebranded as Elisa Kassa, and of course ERP and backend software. We’re really open to partners of any scale, as we want the business to scale up, and this can be achieved by SME-s, too.
What Makes ERPLY Really Stand Out?
It’s a full range of enterprise management software. What makes it really special, is all the data is synchronized and backed up in cloud servers.
We in ERPLY kind of feel cloud-based system is essential for ERP but in many regions and companies cloud is still considered futuristic. ERPLY is built around cloud tech, so the integration is seamless. And it works offline, too. In developing economies this gives a solid advantage.
So What Exactly Comes With Erply Partner Program?
We don’t just provide tools, we get the business rolling. Training for the core team, usually on-site. We help to set up ERP for the initial round of clients, let’s say ten cases.
And we provide customer support, too. I mean, the partner can use our customer support people, until there are resources to keep up local support. We have all the time zones covered 24/7.
What I’d like to emphasize, too, is the zero maintenance cost. With ERPLY, you don’t get a certain software version, as with most of the solutions. You get ERPLY that is constantly and seamlessly updated. It’s cloud-based, so the updates are done by our tech people. No extra payments, no additional fees. Again, there is no catch hidden in the partnership offer.
Oh, and did I mention marketing tools? We can help in setting up a locally customized webpage. Branding, logo, tips, and idea how to get to the clients. The technology itself is amazing. Reports that used to take a couple of months to build, now take just a few clicks. E-Commerce platform, a very wide range of integration with third-party software. To be honest, we haven’t had to advertise the Partner Program much.
How Long Does It Take until the Partner’s Business Can Operate On its Own?
It really depends on the experience and contacts the partner has. Based on what we’ve seen, it takes a couple months only. Cloud-based ERP is a very much needed novelty product, and the market is hungry for it. It’s not like selling shirts or vacuum cleaners. There are high-profit margins in the business.
What’s In It For ERPLY? Why Don’t You Just Open New Offices?
The answer is in scalability. Local partners bring in their experience and contacts, so the business grows at an amazing speed. ERPLY went global quite a few years ago, and we know how much value is in deep knowledge of the market. The services must be top notch for the end users, and this demands personal approach.
We cannot spend time on entering new markets the classic way, by opening a local office, hiring people. We want to works with people who already know how to do business in the particular environment. This is the value we are looking for, and that is why we are keen to share the profits.
ERPLY is a Web-based ERP application with support for accounting, inventory, invoicing, CRM, e-commerce, POS and more, offering retailers a complete IT solution that can be adapted to meet unique requirements. With offices in Tallinn, London, New York, and Sydney we aim to access to a global client base and combine all sales channels for retailers (B2C, B2B, Web). Erply Partner Program is designed to assist your business in creating additional revenue streams by providing a comprehensive range of retailing services.