Category Archives: channelSUITE

Acquiring Technology for the Channel: A Quick Checklist

We all know (or have heard) that technology can solve many of the challenges facing the channel. But how do we capitalize on the opportunity? A good first step is to identify where problems and opportunities lie in the first place, and uncovering problems turns out to be one thing technology can be good for. We discussed that in an earlier article: “Solving problems or finding problems, what’s more important?“.

Once we have determined the areas that need improvement, how do we implement the best technology solution for the problems? Here are a few quick suggestions to consider:

  1. Don’t try to use technology to mimic your current business process exactly. Some parts of your process may be based on ideas that have become outdated over time, and are now ready for the recycling bin. Time may be right for some process re-engineering. Be opportunistic, and don’t accept “we’ve always done it that way” as sufficient rationale.
  2. Automation is good. Controlled automation is better. Make sure the control knobs are there when you need them and choose the right ones based on your business needs.
  3. Design/choose your solution with views from both sides of the channel. Remember many of your partners do business with multiple vendors. What looks like a complete streamlining of business interaction from the vendor perspective, can often have limited or even negative impact on the partner’s lifestyle.
  4. Before you decide that you have to build something because nothing you find in the marketplace does exactly what you want, think some more about (1).


Solving Problems or Finding Problems, What’s More Important?

We’ve all heard about how business process automation can increase channel revenue and customer loyalty, and reduce support headaches.But will automation really work for us? If you are running a thriving business, you probably already have a process that works. Why and where does it need improvement?What parts of the business can be automated, and more importantly what parts should be automated?

The right answer usually comes from both business intuition and factual data. Take sales leads management as an example, managers usually know in their gut when marketing activities are not making a real difference in sales.  However the reason for that is often not as intuitive. Are qualified leads too few and far in-between? Are they getting to the hands of the right people too late? Were they sent to the wrong people? Were they followed-up promptly? Getting feedback from the channel on these questions can be a challenge because of the size and diversity of your channel, and the simple fact that everyone’s busy. Can automation help us find the right problems first?

The answer is yes. We are so used to thinking about automation as a problem-solving tool, sometimes we overlook its ability to identify problems that require attention at the first place. Back to managing sales leads as an example, we can:

  • automate the process of collecting sales leads so that leads from all sources are cataloged and accounted for in one place.
  • automatically track where leads are sent and systematically follow up to get status updates.
  • use automation to make it as easy as possible for our distributions to provide feedback, and automate the way inputs are tallied to produce insightful and instant metrics

Consider this when you plan your process automation projects:  First make your business process transparent. Better visibility will lead to intelligent and faster improvements.

Announcing ChannelSUITE 7

Purplewire is proud to announce channelSUITE 7, featuring an all new user interface that’s easier to use, faster, more consistent, mobile-device-friendly, and better looking.

Usability Improvements
  • Fresh look and feel – the new theme is modern and easy on the eyes

    Partner Contact list

    Partner Contact list

  • More consistent interface across the various channelSUITE modules (channelADMIN, channelLEADS, and channelFUNDS)
  • Responsive design – the interface layout adapts to use available screen space effectively for optimum user productivity across the array of modern Internet devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones)
  • Better performance, due to extensive update of client-side code
Technical Details
  • The new interface uses the popular Bootstrap toolkit and the LESS CSS language. Benefits include increased consistency and maintainability of client-side code, and more consistent behavior across different browsers and devices
  • Client-side code has been extensively refactored. The previous versions spanned many UI and javascript frameworks. Now, all client code uses Bootstrap with JQuery for javascript
  • The interface theme is easily customizable to meet specific requirements of client installations
channelLEADS Lead list

channelLEADS Lead list

We’re excited to use this new foundation to bring you more new and exciting features in the future.

Sign up for a web demo today to check it out!

screenshot of Partner list

Partner list

Purplewire Consolidates its Lead-distribution Product Lineup

The recent release of channelLEADS 6 is the first milestone of a strategic initiative to better serve our markets with a sharper focus. Many of the innovative features developed under the LEADpiper project were incorporated into the new channelLEADS release to offer customers the best of two worlds: sophisticated collaborative features and privilege controls, in conjunction with simple, intuitive system administration.

We have ambitious plans going forward to bring more value to our customers with a single focus and at a faster pace. Consequently, we are retiring LEADpiper as of today, Dec 18, 2012. This means we will no longer be offering new LEADpiper accounts, but will continue to service active users indefinitely. We encourage users to consider migrating to channelLEADS in order to realize the benefit of our ongoing development efforts on that product, and we will provide any help necessary for a smooth transition. Please contact our support team at (315) 234-0079 x345 or with any questions.

Announcing channelLEADS 6

The latest version of Purplewire’s popular lead distribution and tracking system — channelLEADS, the flagship component of the channelSUITE ™ product line — comes with a host of new and powerful features and a brand new interface to make the user experience simpler and more intuitive. The new version lets the user devise and tailor their own lead distribution rules and more easily manage footprints in Europe and Asia. Highlights of the new features are:

  • Use postal codes anywhere in the world to manage geographical territories
  • Ability to design and store lead-processing “schemes” and tailor them for each individual lead source
  • New “Market Match” feature systematically and continuously finds the right channel for each lead by geography, product, or both.

For more info, visit the channelSUITE website or talk to one of our sales engineers today, at (315) 234-0079 extension 346.

channelFUNDS Integrates with ERP to Provide Credit Confirmation

In a recent implementation of channelFUNDS at a Fortune 100 site, successful integration with the client’s ERP enables confirmation of distributor reimbursement of a co-op marketing funds claim. This allows users to access the credit memo ID issued by the ERP, and its time stamp, through the claim record in the channelFUNDS interface.

The new credit confirmation function will soon be appearing on channelSUITE’s standard feature list, offering our clients several ways of providing the valuable data to channel partners.

In this same implementation, channelSUITE was used as the master user access/privilege control center and single sign-on provider for several other legacy applications. This integration, which required minimal modifications to the legacy programs, allows the client to maintain control of all channel-facing programs and partner data from one centralized facility, and provides the internal and partner users with a portal interface to the various applications.

Comparing Purplewire Lead Distribution Solutions

Purplewire offers two different solutions for sales lead distribution: channelLEADS (the leads management module of channelSUITE), and LEADpiper.

Why are there two products, and how do I know which one is best for me?

Good questions!

channelSUITE is geared towards a vendor with a relatively diverse indirect sales channel. Common operational processes like lead distribution (and also co-op marketing funds management, partner recruiting and credentialing, etc.) become much more complicated when partners are assigned to different theaters and regions, handle different product lines, or when responsibility for the “care and feeding” of those partners is split between multiple internal channel administration staff members.

In such a scenario, you probably feel the need for a tool like channelSUITE to catalog all the attributes and theater/region associations of the partners, and also to keep track of which of your internal channel staff (we call them “administrators”) has responsibility for which partners. We can build a solid foundation for this data in channelADMIN (the central channel management module of channelSUITE) and then use it as a platform to drive the operational channel processes like lead distribution (via the channelLEADS module) and co-op funds management (through channelFUNDS) in a consistent and cohesive way.

Another defining characteristic of channelSUITE is that each channelSUITE customer gets their own private software installation (hosted and managed by Purplewire) with its own database, branding, and URL. This “single tenant” approach allows us great flexibility to customize your installation both in terms of functionality and “look and feel”.

But what if you don’t care about all that stuff?

If you don’t need custom functionality or private label branding, you have a single lead administrator, your sales organization has a simple hierarchy, or you’re only looking for a “point solution” for lead distribution, LEADpiper may be a better fit for you.

LEADpiper is a “multi-tenant” web application; you can register for an account on the site and start using it right away. There are no setup fees, and we give you some free credits so you can use it for a while for free. Setup is very easy, and you can get started sending leads to your recipients immediately.

Although LEADpiper is in some ways simpler than channelLEADS, it’s not lacking in features. It provides the same flexibility in accepting leads from multiple sources in multiple formats, and provides a robust but easily usable set of features for defining lead routing rules based on lead content (including geographic data).

We’ve put together a new “feature matrix” that demonstrates some of the similarities and differences between LEADpiper and channelLEADS. Please give it a look. Hope you find it useful, and as always comments and suggestions are welcome.

channelSUITE is now ready to power your Dealer Locater!

channelSUITE now offers multiple easy integration methods to get additional value out of its channel partner database. The new tools let channelSUITE customer leverage its channelADMIN partner database to drive the “dealer locater” feature on its company website, allowing their website visitors to find contact info for your partner locations in a specific geographic area. You can choose to provide search by country, by state/province in US or Canada, by US zip code (with a user-selectable search radius), and optionally filter search results by partner or location “tags” appropriate to your business (vertical specialty, product authorization, etc.). Multiple integration methods are provided ranging from simple (HTML iframe include) to fancy (AJAX inline content update or XML web service call).

new channelADMIN function for managing partner recruits!

The latest addition to the channelADMIN gives companies a systematically managed pipeline for applicants and recruits of their channels. An important channel success factor is the continuous addition of qualified, productive partners into your network of distributors. channelRECRUITS provides you with the means to systematically keep track of leads and/or applications for new partnerships, facilitate team work on applicant credentialing, remind designated staff to move applications through the process, and maintain electronic records of all applications and resulting actions. Feature Highlights.

Purplewire rolls out new channel organizer and communicator!

channelADMIN 4 is the ideal Channel Relations Management platform that lets you organize all your channel relationships quickly right out of the box, easily deploy the resource to your team, and begin communicating to partners right away, with features such as:

  • “State of the channel” dashboards.
  • Easy browsing/search through theaters, regions, partner types/specializations/certifications.
  • Delegating sales territories.
  • Personal distribution lists for email channel communications.

and much more….
You can also sign up for an online demo here.