The ITAM Review

News, reviews and resources for worldwide ITAM, SAM and Licensing professionals.

FrontRange Solutions Partners Face Uncertain Future

European channel partners for FrontRange Solutions appear to be receiving mixed messages from the infrastructure management vendor.

In June, FrontRange were dishing out partner awards for support, marketing and specialist expertise. Winners included CTMS, Trustmarque Solutions and Teksys.

Ian McEwan, Vice President EMEA at FrontRange Solutions, commented: “Our channel partners make up a vital part of our business at FrontRange, and it is only right that we recognise their contribution to our success.”

Only a month later,  it is reported that FrontRange have slashed partner support margins and doubled the cost of remaining a partner.

An unnamed source said;

“Most Partners are appalled by the manner in which this has been dealt with. The annual subscription has been doubled and the support revenue almost halved – and any enquiries are met with ‘take it or leave it’. Partners have been given around 12 days to do just that, and that includes those that have worked with Centennial for many years to build up a substantial client portfolio for them. We just don’t think FrontRange understand the Partner Channel nor what we have done for them.”

Bad news for FrontRange partners, good news for FrontRange’s competitors who must be rubbing their hands with glee.

email

About Martin Thompson

Martin is owner and founder of The ITAM Review, an online resource and community for worldwide ITAM professionals.

Martin is also author of the book "Practical ITAM - The essential guide for IT Asset Managers", a book that describes how to get started and make a difference in the field of IT Asset Management.

On a voluntary basis Martin a contributor to ISO WG21 which develops the ITAM International Standard ISO/IEC 19770.

Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.

17 Comments

  1. Ian McEwan says:

    At FrontRange Solutions, we are currently in the process of revising our Partner Programme

    – a scenario all our partners are fully aware of. The aim is to give better support and provide an overall better mechanism for our

    partners’ business to grow. We are constantly looking to evolve our Partner Program to offer the best support to our partners. The steps

    we are currently taking will result in the fairest and most consistent Program for all our partners across the globe.
    This will also

    help our partners and customers to fully understand our full product offering.

    I am more than happy to discuss with any of our

    partners the benifits to them and our joint customers.

    Ian McEwan
    VP, EMEA Frontrange Solutions

  2. Anon says:

    Frankly

    that is an outrageously ‘corporate’ response.

    Those people who have actually been in the Centennial channel for years are

    jointly sick of hearing this from Frontrange.

    The new partner benefits are window dressing and you know it. What most vendors do

    when they are under pressure is truely get closer to their partners and work with them. In Frontrange’s case you announce it and then

    double the already ridiculous charge(!) for having the pleasure of spending money to sell and market Frontrange products and then cut net

    margins (by 40%) on business built over years of hard, loyal work in one fell swoop with 2 weeks notice!

    The market is tough.

    Frontrange partners, like everyone, are hurting. Do you think it’s just you? Removing margins from partners from maintenance and support

    and charging a fee when we are already short of new business is commercial suicide for Frontrange.

    Do you honestly think your

    channel will stay loyal and won’t cross sell in this situation?

  3. Former Employee says:

    Sadly, Frontrange have always viewed their Partners as a direct revenue stream, rather than as contributors to

    that stream. It smacks of an Amway-esque pyramid scheme, and is an attitude that goes back at least ten years, so this really ought not

    to come as any great surprise …

  4. Former Partner says:

    It’s a real shame though as the Centennial products were good. It shouldn’t have come as any great surprise once FrontRange acquired

    Centennial. We’ll be looking to offer our customers other products.

  5. Paladium says:

    Thats what you get with a company run by a bunch of accountants….they have to pay for the “partner” parties somehow!

  6. Ex-partner says:

    This is the big stick approach – Centennial look to have had a bad year so in order to make up the numbers it is

    the Partners that must suffer. There is absolutely no understanding of just how hard the Partners work to keep the clients happy, nor the

    very considerable added value they give in order to make sure the annual support orders keep on coming. There is considerable anger

    amongst what are hard working and committed people – FrontRange have shot themselves in the foot over this.

  7. Soon to Ex-GM Partner says:

    Well, the current economic climate seems like the opportunity to ditch the partners that they’ve been

    waiting for. They’ve neglected to really invest in their core products of HEAT and Goldmine, downsized their Goldmine support in the UK

    to one guy who you can never get hold of and staff morale is really low. I have had three calls in the last two months from FRS staff

    asking for a job. For those like me, who stuck by Goldmine and HEAT all these years, the new agreements are a joke and a real kick in the

    teeth and crotch. I have two words for Goldmine “Lazy Buffoon” and HEAT is going backwards. Shame on you FrontRange.

  8. Current Partner says:

    As a current FR partner (and Centennial partner before that) I have seen a clear effort to engage

    us more proactively and support us more effectively. Over the last 12 months there were some individuals at FR that let the side down and

    I think it was their actions (or lack of) unfortunately timed with the takeover by FR that saw us Centennial partners first feel

    neglected. However, with recent joiners and leavers this has changed and in my opinion FR have stepped up a gear with the Channel (not

    quite back to the Centennial hay-days, but getting there).
    Centennial always had too many partners who were content to transact pass-

    through business and rely on renewals – all they did was lower the value of the product in the market place. If FR’s new strategy is to

    ditch the dead wood, then I’m in favour.
    And no, I don’t like the partner fees, but then it’s down to me to make sure I get them

    back in resource, MDF and margin — at least I’ll get more focus :o)

  9. Current Partner says:

    As a current FR partner (and Centennial partner before that) I have seen a clear effort to engage us more proactively and support us more effectively. Over the last 12 months there were some individuals at FR that let the side down and I think it was their actions (or lack of) unfortunately timed with the takeover by FR that saw us Centennial partners first feel neglected. However, with recent joiners and leavers this has changed and in my opinion FR have stepped up a gear with the Channel (not quite back to the Centennial hay-days, but getting there).
    Centennial always had too many partners who were content to transact pass-through business and rely on renewals – all they did was lower the value of the product in the market place. If FR’s new strategy is to ditch the dead wood, then I’m in favour.
    And no, I don’t like the partner fees, but then it’s down to me to make sure I get them back in resource, MDF and margin — at least I’ll get more focus :o)

  10. Also a Current partner says:

    If you really think you are going to get more focus from FR you are very much mistaken. They are

    selling direct and taking back all the business of those partners not renewing without a hope of supporting them. Even the promise of a

    Partner WebEx within 30 days has been broken, cancelled with just a few hours notice. It is impossible to get in touch with anyone at FR,

    be it their finance or their support. I really wouldn’t mind the partner fee so much if we were getting more assistance and help but we

    are most definitely not. The whole tenor at the moment is pay more, get less.

  11. Current Partner says:

    I must agree with all the comments about FrontRange not understanding the channel market in the UK. Perhaps this

    approach of pushing business direct works in other territories but here, where the historical Centennial business was sold ont he back of

    the graft of partners, I think this is a bad bad move. And no-one is better qualified to sell a competing product against a FrontRange

    one than a former disgruntled FrontRange partner.

  12. Ian McEwan says:

    I can understand your frustrations, however many partners can see the value of the new

    Frontrange programme and the focus we are putting on the channel and our clients.
    If that was not the case how come I spent the

    morning in meetings with one partner while back at our offices we ran a joint customer day with CTMS and plan to run many more with other

    partners.
    If Frontrange didn’t understand the importance of partnering can someone please tell me why we have just signed up 4 new

    partners and have some of our old Centennial partners making positive comments on this site?

    As i said I am more than happy to

    discuss with any of our partners the issues and concerns they might have.

    With regards the WebEx being cancelled this was a timing issue with getting Kevin J Smith on the line from Asia Pac,

    however the webex is going ahead as planned tomorrow and I will host the call with support from Bill Anvil

    With regards

    Ian McEwan
    VP, EMEA Frontrange Solutions

  13. Current Partner says:

    Ian,
    In no way can 1 positive comment out of 9 or 10 on this thread be taken as an endorsement of how well the

    FRS channel program is being received. Membership costs doubled, margin significantly decreased, all with the promise of additional

    support from FRS (heard it all before, last year and the year before). In reality, the number of presales resources has decreased, the

    number of support resources dedicated to Centennial products has decreased, the amount of time to acknowledge a support ticket has gone

    up (averaging 2 days now) and the time to fix for support issues is much higher now than ever. All the things you are promising to do are

    things your competitors have been doing over the past 2 years, and you are trying to sell it to us as a positive. Partners are bound to

    get frustrated when all their historical hard work is being ambushed with very little notice or justification. Instead of hiding behind

    Webex or email, I suggest you organise a partner meeting, where all signed up partners for the SAM product line are invited along in a

    group to put their frustrations forward and to give you the chance to justify the changes to the partner community. Any other partners

    support this?

  14. Ian McEwan says:

    Once again we are listening to your concerns and I have both publicly on this website and privately on the recent

    webinar offered my contact details, email and mobile so that I can address these personally.

    Following the last comment I am

    arranging a meeting in Newbury and Emma Roper will be contacting the whole of the SAM community over the next 24 hours with details.

    With regards
    Ian McEwan
    VP, EMEA FrontRange Solutions

  15. Another Current Partner. says:

    Totally agree with the Current Partner’s comments as above. The service from FR has been deplorable

    over the last 12 to 18 months and the move to Newbury has just made matters worse. We work our socks off with real proactive support for

    our clients but are ignored as a client of FR. All we hear is a deafening silence. A round table meeting, in person, with signed up

    active partners is urgently required to clear the air on the many issues that remain un-addressed

  16. Current FRS Partner says:

    Hi All
    I have to say i have been an FRS partner on the HEAT side for 8 years now and i to have had my

    fair share of unfair treatment but of late have met with FRS, been given a good overview of the vision of the future and also from Ian

    himself and i for one am on board.
    I have paid my fees, renewed my agreement and being the owner of a 5 man and growing company can see

    a profitable future with FRS as our key focus,

    Yes i am expecting bumps in the road, thats what relationships are all about, hut

    unlike a lot of the last 8 years really feel i am now being listened to….

  17. I have removed a product comment from

    this thread, please post any feedback regarding products (Good, bad and indifferent) to the ITAM Review 2010 Tools Census;

    https://www.itassetmanagement.net/2010/07/02/2010-census-update-scalable-software-tops-satisfaction-survey/

Leave a Comment

VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL OFFER

Get 30% off on your tickets to our Wisdom UK and Wisdom US conferences. 

Promo Code: VALENTINE30

Ends at midnight on Tuesday, 18 February. 

Book your place now!