[Interview] Mike Brömmelstrote about the necessity and variety of the d.velop partner programs

Published June 9, 2020
Estimated reading time 7 min

Carolin Ostendarp Inbound Marketing Manager d.velop

The d.velop AG without partners: Unimaginable! Together we can achieve more – That’s why we asked Mike Brömmelstrote, Senior Business Development Manager Partner & Alliances at d.velop AG for an interview. Everything worth knowing about the partner network of d.velop AG…

Why and since when does d.velop rely on partners?

Hardly any market developed as rapidly as the ECM market in the last 20 years. More and more companies want to establish continuous digital business and document processes – and that in almost all areas of the company. Only recently, Bitkom Research announced in a study on the status quo and perspectives of ECM that less than half of all companies in the field of document management and process automation work with a digital solution.
Exactly at that point, d.velop wants to contribute to cover the demand and thus keep up with the development.

This growth has already caused d.velop AG to launch a partner program in 2002. Supported by partnerships, we could meet the growing demands of the market in the last years. Since then, the expertise of strong partners with regard to location, industries, technologies and other areas has been inspiring our business and has become an indispensable part of the d.velop brand.

While in the past it was mainly extensive ECM projects in which our partners were involved, it is now increasingly moving towards cloud-based specialist applications and lean apps – which are developed by d.velop as well as by d.velop partners.

Partners also play a decisive role in the area of internationalization – then as now. True to the motto “other countries, other customs”, we can only fully understand the needs and requirements of ECM users with the experts on site – in order to not only offer the best software, but above all to be close to people in our personal cooperation. Outside the EU we use distributors, within the EU direct d.velop partners.

How many d.velop partners are there today?

The d.velop competence network, which meanwhile consists of about 300 partner companies, includes all forms of partnerships, such as sales and consulting, OEM, technology and recently also the so-called app builders. There’s the right program for every business model.

How do these partner programs differ?

As of today, we have four d.velop partner programs.

On the one hand, there is the Excellence Partner Program, which is explicitly tailored for Sales and Consulting Partners and focuses on the project business. These partners advise, install, configure and customize customer systems, no matter whether on premises or in the d.velop cloud. Depending on the level of qualification, the generated turnover, the number of projects or references, the levels Authorized, Silver, Gold or Platinum – in this order – can be reached. The more activity and commitment the partners show with regard to qualification, number of customer projects and turnover, the more benefits can be expected.

Then there is an OEM partner model for software vendors or ISVs (Independent Software Vendor). These complement your own applications with additional expertise, i.e. document management or complementary modules from d.velop. Here, we have very successfully established long-term partnerships, e.g. with Sage GmbH in Frankfurt, Asseco Solutions AG in Karlsruhe or GWS Gesellschaft für Warenwirtschafts-Systeme mbH in Münster.

We call partners who connect our products, i.e. who ensure that documents from leading applications are written into the repository, interface partners. There is a large number of interfaces, either as a product or as a project solution for DATEV, Business Central (formerly NAV), dynamics365FO, Diamant, SAP Business ONE, etc.

Brand new is the partner program for App Builder. Here, we are looking for software developers, freelancers or software companies who would like to produce apps for our d.velop platform. App builders are part of the platform economy.

This one starts very individualistically. The process starts with the registration (onboarding). Subsequently, a commercial supervisor (strategy) is assigned to the app builder, then a technical supervisor (build), i.e. the partner manager as well as the technology evangelist. Finally, if you have successfully passed the security check (Security), the App-Builder contract (Sale) beckons. It works in a new way: First of all, you do, you start, you produce, you develop, you evaluate and finally, just before the app is placed in the d.velop store, the contract is signed.

How do I become a partner?

Often companies come to us and want to become a d.velop partner when there is already a concrete need or use case: via the industry solution or integration, via direct customer enquiries or even in a competitive situation. This means that the customer wants to replace his existing solution with a new innovative solution from d.velop. We also welcome partners with the wish for reorientation with open arms.

The way with us can start via the contact form of the website or via the personal contact to an employee of d.velop AG. Furthermore, there is a two-day event once a year: The d.velop partnersummit. We also invite interested people there to get to know us, our program and the d.velop software.

If a partnership is probable for both sides, we o find out which of the partner managers in which organizational unit is the right one for the new partner – the right fit is indispensable! After the partner contract has been signed, the on-boarding and enablement starts.

It is not possible to estimate how long this process will take. There is an initiation phase, which is relatively short. You can certainly say within a few weeks whether you are suited to each other and want to do business together in the future. Signing a contract is then a quick process, as we have few formal hurdles and have a lot of practice in this area 😉…

And then it really gets going. Training and qualification, at best the own system in house, but also addressing the market, the topic of marketing and developing a business plan is what is then very exciting and challenging at the same time.

Where does the journey for d.velop partners go in the future?

The number and variety of the individual partner programs at d.velop make clear: “The world is turning”!
We are talking about digital transformation and disruption – new business models and new business fields are emerging. We want to go the ways of digital transformation together with partners and recommend that today, the partner should primarily deal with two topics.

First: Managed Services. For example, new and extended service times, a user help desk, extended reaction times, the adoption of operating models or even business process outsourcing can represent exciting and new business models for the partner, be it on prices, hybrid or in the d.velop cloud.

Second: Produce professionalism. So away from the project business and a unique project solution towards standardized and repeatable solutions for the d.velop store and thus potentially for more than 10,000 customers. Also here, we coach the partner and do not leave him alone with his questions.

What would you like to give to potential partners on the way?

We have a very harmonious partner network. Nobody here plays against each other, but only with each other. Simply also because all our resources are limited. It is important that we complement each other. Here in our partner ecosystem, you can benefit from the knowledge, know-how and competence of the others. We always think and act in partnership.

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