Manticore Technology is a company in Austin, TX focused on simple, powerful and easy to use demand generation applications delivered in a SaaS or on-demand scenario. I have liked this company’s approach for a while now and they are one example in a good-sized market full of similar innovative companies such as Eloqua, Market2Lead and Marketo.
Today Manticore announced a global partner program and if that was the whole story it would not be worth comment. But the company did something clever that I have long advocated and it therefore gives me more reason to write.
In addition to the expected partner program that enlists resellers, Manticore went out of its way to design another level of partnership at the consultant level. According to the press release, the consultant partners will use the application to help end-customers with their sales and marketing programs including “strategic services such as marketing-sales alignment, sales pipeline optimization and nurturing campaign design in conjunction with Manticore Technology.”
Consultants have done this kind of thing for a long time but in many cases, without the explicit blessing of the vendor and in small geographies. Developing this kind of partnership provides Manticore with extended reach into the market and helps ensure customer success.
A few years ago I wrote about this kind of partnership being an eventuality when I described WebNecessary technologies. A WebNecessary technology is one that embeds the Internet more deeply in the solution than simply providing a transport mechanism.
As I wrote at the time (2004):
Web Necessary (WN) applications … actually integrate the Internet as a part of the value proposition delivered to customers and differ from earlier hosted applications in several important ways:
- They involve the Internet as an active part of the value proposition.
- They support innovative business processes that in most cases could not be easily supported any other way.
- They are collaborative, bringing together people from disparate roles, geographies and organizations to participate in these business processes.
The logic of the situation is apparent. As more vendors move to deliver their applications on-demand, there is an iron mandate that they make the applications drop dead simple to use, modify and maintain. That’s not good news for traditional consultants who make a lot of money on nuts and bolts issues. But it opens up another important field. As applications became more configurable and as new WebNecessary applications began doing things people had not though about much before, the need for expertise to help people actually use on-demand applications began to grow.
Manticore’s program has some interesting points. For example, the on-demand nature of the product makes it possible for consultants to live and work long distances away from their customers. That might not seem like a lot but it goes to the heart of the third bullet point. Now, even small companies can access the services of ninja consultants regardless of location. That’s always been technically true but rarely has it been as easy.
Manticore’s announcement today really traces a five year trajectory from issue identification to solution and it succinctly points out the power of multi-tenant on-demand computing. It’s necessary, it’s good to see and I expect we will see more announcements like this one in the future.