Channel Marker

Jul 14 2008   4:14PM GMT

Quite a useful tool for short-circuiting information overload, if you’re willing to pay for it



Posted by: Heather Clancy
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Channel partner programs
Heather Clancy
IT channel products and technologies
Leading technology vendors
Reseller channel business development
Software as a service (SaaS)
Supplier relationship management
Vendor partner business issues

I’ve been pretty vocal in the past about the need for an application or system that helps solution providers consolidate all the different information feeds they receive (or could receive) from their preferred vendor partners. Well, such an animal exists in the form of a SaaS application from Neuron Global, and I got a demo last week from founder and vice president of marketing Colin Kennedy.

The company, based in Washington, D.C., bills itself a provider of sales and event insight that helps synergize the salient points of incoming communications and report them out to your sales team in a consistent manner (according to the parameters and filters that your team picks).

Within the context of the IT industry, that means that you could arrange for Neuron Global to collect all the information feeds from your various vendor partners and gather up all the information about ongoing promotions/SPIFs, marketing incentives, competitive sell campaigns, training and so forth.

Here’s how the process works. You (the VAR or IT solution provider) meet with the Neuron Global team to define the data you want. Neuron Global will build out a custom portal that pulls the information from the various electronic sources you define, such as a vendor’s partner portal. It’s presented in the way your management team best seems fit so, for example, you can give priority to one vendor over another.

The company offers a similar service that is focused on providing high-level reporting about events and conferences. The output gets sent back to the client as a PDF, which is essentially a navigation document supplemented by pertinent audio and video snippets. Think of it as a Cliffs Notes, except that you can double-click on certain sections and get more data.

Personally speaking, this sounds like the kind of service that any larger VAR might find useful, helping them make the most out of their channel programs. I mean, realistically, wouldn’t you rather have a salesperson sell than waste their time crawling six or seven vendor sites every week looking for info about promotions?

There is a fee, about which Kennedy was vague. But it costs $199 for each feed that you want set up and builds from there. This is one reason why although this is a really valuable tool, I believe that Neuron Global will need to study different sales arrangements in order to encourage adoption. For now, it is focusing on the largest resellers.

Heather Clancy is a high-tech journalist and channel communications strategist with SWOT Management Group. She can be reached at hclancy@swotmg.com.

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