There has been some discussion on the worth of the Magento Partner Programmes so I thought I’d explain why WebShopApps did it.
WebShopApps became Gold Industry Partners with Magento September 2011, and for us it’s been well worth the investment. We had never done any marketing prior to joining this programme, and part of me at the time felt maybe it would be a waste of money as we were already successful and ‘doing our thing’.
Where has the accreditation helped us most:
- Customers large and small trust us more – they can see we are reputable and that we have been successful enough to get to this level
- Other industry partners are more willing to talk to us – before we become a partner we found it quite hard to talk to Shipping companies. Now we can refer to our status and it opens doors
- We have a point of contact in Magento – I believe this is invaluable
- Access to the Enterprise Platform – we can now conduct thorough testing on all versions of this platform as part of our license
The blog by Sonassi refers to the fact anyone can become a partner. Well yes this is true.
But you will find that people in this business are intelligent. They understand the ones that have bought the badge through having big company backing or venture capital. They will understand the real businesses like WebShopApps, Blue Acorn, Classy Llama and Unleaded Software who have worked long and hard to build a business based on great customer service, great products, and sound software engineering practises. Our customers are clever, they read all the signals, not just one.
Anyone can claim to be anything, people with backing can buy anything, but slowly the cracks show.
We embrace the partnership program. Would I join if I was just starting out? No – build your business and build your customers, then once you have traction and want to expand your reach definitely look at joining to get that stamp of approval. You won’t regret it IMO.
I should also add I believe this is just the dawn of these programmes, they will continue to improve over time, I think Magento does a great deal of listening to the partners and tries to take on board our feedback – they know its not perfect, and sometimes the machine turns more slowly than our fast paced businesses would like. But hey its a start and I thank them for the opportunity.