A company called Constructive has created a sort of hybrid between traditional high-tech partner relationship management (PRM) systems and partner community portals.
Its free open platform, called Partnerpedia, supports business-to-business collaboration and now provides a way for VARs (and their relevant vendor partners) to track customer leads.
Although I routinely debate the value of these sorts of applications — because most VARs have better things to do than feed data into a software tool — one thing that is compelling about Partnerpedia is that a VAR can click through views of its relationships with multiple vendors all from one interface. Vendors can provide more brand-specific information to a specific group of partners by creating a private network.
Check out who is involved in the open community — some pretty big names including Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Microsoft. Definitely worth a peek if you need to formalize your project or lead management processes.