Partnerpedia helps the channel be more successful

By Maxine Cheung, ITBusiness.ca |  Channel, Partnerpedia, Social Networking

Constructive, a Vancouver-based vendor of Web-based ecosystems and partner portal solutions, and also the company behind the branded online partner portal community, Partnerpedia, is looking to gather as many IT channel members to its Web site as it can, said the company's CEO.

Mark Sochan, CEO of Constructive, said the 13-year old privately held company specializes in cultivating, maintaining and enabling the IT channel. The goal of the company, he said, is to help IT companies around the world expand their market presence and success through partnerships. Best of all, he added, there's no cost to sign up to become a Partnerpedia member.

The company, which has a total employee count today of 50 staff members, has developed partner portal solutions for companies such as Microsoft and Research In Motion.

"When we built partner portal solutions for these larger companies, we recognized that a lot of the best practices we developed could also be put into our Partnerpedia solution, which we launched at the end of last summer," Sochan said. "Partnerpedia is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering specifically for the IT channel. It leverages Web 2.0, collaborative capabilities, and the benefits of social networking."

Unlike a social networking site such as LinkedIn or Facebook, which highlight individual profiles, Sochan said Partnerpedia is a social networking site that highlights an individual profile and connects that profile to a company profile too.

"A core part of Partnerpedia is showing how individuals are connected to an organization so they can market skills that the company has in order to win more business and become more discoverable by prospective vendors and partners," Sochan said.

Once individual and company profiles are set up on Partnerpedia, members can promote partner programs, search for other partners and programs and also connect with other partners in the IT industry. The site can also be used to upload and share content and send messages to other partners. Sochan said users can also control how much information is made either public or private on the site.

The goal behind the design of Partnerpedia is to appeal to the everyday user. Sochan said the site was built to be easy to use, so members can get started quickly and leverage the familiarity they have with other social networking sites and e-mail.

Each Partnerpedia member is allocated one secure partner portal at no charge, which allows for up to 250MB worth of content. If more space or another portal is required, there's a cost of $400/month. Because Partnerpedia is a free membership offering, Sochan said the company makes its money by building custom partner portals for large enterprise vendors.

"At the end of the day, partners want to increase their business and we see Partnerpedia as a complimentary solution that enables companies to be more effective," he added. "Our first priority is to grow the number of members in Partnerpedia and help them increase their business. Once we achieve this, we see lots of opportunities to provide things like value-added services, advertising sponsorships, and so forth."

If members need more customization services such as integration with their existing IT systems and the portal, Partnerpedia will provide services to customers on a case by case basis.

Sam Liu, Constructive's director of marketing, said Partnerpedia is a great way to help bridge regional boundaries.

"A lot of times IT vendors and solution providers are trying to reach out to each other in different countries," Liu said. "Partnerpedia helps bridge this gap by allowing partners to promote themselves and connect with others, whether it's in Canada, Europe or Asia."

Partnerpedia members also have access to tips and tricks which can be found through the site, which include information on best practices on how to be a more effective channel partner and how to be more effective in partnering, Sochan added.

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