Channel News

Micro Focus Builds New Portal Experience To Support Unified Partner Program

Micro Focus, the giant software and information technology company, has launched a new partner portal to support its recently unified legacy partner programs. The new portal is designed to streamline and simplify the way partners engage with the company.

Since Micro Focus merged with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) software in 2017, it hosted two separate channel programs. In addition, partner programs offered by other companies that either Micro Focus or HPE had acquired were not fully integrated into their respective portals.

“The announcement of the new Micro Focus partner program and portal demonstrates our continued commitment to providing an easier path for our partners to confidently generate predictable revenue, build pipeline and do business with us,” said Mike O’Neill, President of Worldwide Indirect Sales at Micro Focus.

“The partner experience was not perfect,” said Laurie Fontaine, senior director of global partner programs and strategy. “What we wanted to do is make sure that we have the best partner experience by creating a one-stop shopping destination. One place to go for the partners for all things content, marketing, and sales drivers.”

Micro Focus’ new partner program is built on the Saleforce platform with simple, globally consistent membership requirements across three partner tiers: Authorized, Gold and Platinum. In addition, Micro Focus uses the Zift Solutions platform to support a variety of channel marketing and management activities.

The portal provides access to marketing resources, enablement and training, and offers partners these benefits:

  • Enhanced deal registration to help protect partner-sourced deals and ensure maximum margin;
  • Improved SaaS offerings to ensures rebates are paid out earlier, up to three years in advance;
  • An uppgraded MDF program that streamlines the provisioning of marketing funds for Gold and Platinum partners to drive demand generation activity;
  • Accelerated turnaround time for deal registration, quotes, orders and MDF.

By consolidating the partner programs and building a single portal to support the merged structure, Micro Focus expects to gain greater visibility into the overall performance of its channel, said Fontaine. “There was a need for us to more accurately understand what partners were bringing to us and what they were working on with customers.” With that information, she explained, the company will be able to appropriately reward partners on deals collaboratively generated or created solely by the partner.

Ensuring Continuous Improvement

Since the portal was launched in March, Micro Focus has been actively monitoring adoption rates and exploring tactics to engage more partners. “We are looking at doing focus groups to make sure that we’ve hit the mark, not only with our partners, but with our distributors,” said Fontaine.

“We’re also taking a whole lot of surveys and tracking page hits and time spent, and what’s pulled from the system,” added Heather Shaw, partner engagement manager. “What are people looking at? What’s important to them? What can’t they find?”

Providing partners with regularly updated content is critical, said Fontaine. “One of our goals is to make sure that it’s constantly refreshed, so that every time a user comes back, there’s an incentive. There’s something new to learn.”

While striving to create a single experience that all Micro Focus partners can intuitively navigate, the company is also hoping the new portal will better engage long-tail partners. Outreach campaigns and tactics such as gamification are being planned to better engage less active partners.

Engaging New Partners

In addition, Micro Focus is making some content freely available to help recruit new partners. “Part of the approach and strategy for this portal is to provide an open space where partners don’t have to be logged in to view some specific pages,” said Shaw. The goal is to offer engaging content to potential partners with publicly available content. “If they want to go deeper, then they’re required to create a partnership with the company.”

The new portal is already proving to be effective, said Fontaine. “There’s definitely been an uptake in deal registrations overall.”