Epicor to Bolster Its EMEA Channel

Epicor, a global provider of business applications for manufacturing, distribution, retail, and services organizations, recently announced it has fine-tuned its channel strategy to drive growth opportunities in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region. As part of this expansion strategy, Epicor will be looking at recruiting new partners, particularly for key markets such as France, Germany, Russia, and Benelux, and boosting its channel presence in the Middle East and South Africa. Epicor will be looking at recruiting partners that already have enterprise resource planning (ERP) experience, typically with knowledge of larger systems, such as SAP, Oracle, Infor, or some Microsoft Dynamics solutions.

To support this ambitious initiative, Epicor has recruited four new channel managers to cover Benelux, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, and South Africa. Epicor has also recruited a new channel marketing director to help partners optimize their new business development efforts, benefit from central marketing campaigns, and develop joint marketing plans, so that they can continue to grow their businesses beyond the initial engagement period. Epicor ERP is probably the main focus, but this recruiting drive could potentially include other product offerings by Epicor.

Generally speaking, if a vendor can drive good leads to or co-fund marketing for the channel, its resellers will stay loyal. Forcing exclusivity on to resellers has proven to be an unwise practice time and again. Rather than insisting on exclusivity, it is more practical for a vendor simply to not pass leads on to poorly executing resellers. Most of them will then either disappear (go out of business or go elsewhere) or become exclusive and more dedicated.

As James Frampton, Epicor’s channel vice president for Epicor EMEA, says in the announcement, the vendor is not changing its partnering strategy—it still focuses on recruiting a select number of partners that bring expertise in a niche market, industry, or geography. The announcement is more about the channel team that Keith Deane, senior vice president and general manager for Epicor EMEA, has built to better support existing partners, recruit new ones, and achieve the goal of doubling channel-generated revenues over the next two years in EMEA. Deane has lived through this experience at Infor, and rebuilding the channel was probably his (and his brought-over team’s) main value proposition for Epicor.
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