PRODUCT PROFILE

ChannelWave 5 Takes Middle Ground

ChannelWave 5 focuses on the action in the middle by providing Web-based CRM and partner relationship management (PRM) technology for organizations that sell through such intermediaries as alliance partners, value-added resellers, systems integrators, and agents and brokers.

The end-to-end offering focuses on the lifecycle of pre-sales, sales and post-sales channel business to improve demand generation, team selling, and customer support and maintenance. Advanced reporting and analytics produce real-time information to enable accurate decision making.

ChannelWave 5 is designed to help customers communicate, collaborate and interact more effectively with partners across multiple channels, as well as to streamline partner planning, improve lead distribution and follow-up, sharpen revenue forecasts, decrease channel conflict and reduce channel-management costs.

The high-tech and telecommunications industries are among those that rely heavily on intermediaries and need to get to market quickly, explained Chris Heidelberger, president and CEO of ChannelWave Software. He emphasized that indirect selling is a different animal from selling direct.

Addressing Pain Points

The company’s concentration on lower cost of ownership, faster returns on investment and greater flexibility are part of its “dynamic CRM” positioning aimed to help the company differentiate itself, according to a report written by Laurie Orlov, research director of applications and services at Forrester.

Larger CRM vendors do not adequately address the needs of companies with multitiered models, ChannelWave’s Heidelberger told CRM Buyer Magazine. “We see a new software model emerging. Smaller, private companies can drive that new model for a fraction of the cost of big companies and get the technology running in 90 days.”

Although demand for PRM-channel management capabilities is growing, market consolidation is changing the competitive climate, Orlov told CRM Buyer. Companies like Siebel and Pivotal, for example, are folding these functions into their CRM offerings, and it is becoming more difficult for niche players, including Allegis, Comergent, ClickCommerce and InfoNow, to distinguish their offerings, she explained.

Focus on Flexibility

ChannelWave’s many-to-many architecture is designed to provide flexibility for forming partner teams and supporting complex relationships with many vendors, partners, customers and others. The technology also can support partners in different countries.

The PRM/channel-management suite zeroes in on collaborative planning, opportunity and order management, demand generation, marketing funds management, training, service and support — all of which have been integrated into one seamless, standards-based platform.

The J2EE- and XML-based platform is designed to improve time-to-deployment, enable legacy platform and database independence, and facilitate rapid introduction of new functions at a lower overall cost. XML APIs ensure fast and seamless integration with other enterprise systems to achieve full visibility across the demand and supply chains.

ChannelWave 6, due out in the second quarter of this year, will be easier for users to configure and will enable more sophisticated team selling and deeper content management, Heidelberger said. The new version will feature a software development kit, an updated metrics manager, SAP order exchange, wireless delivery and an enhanced workflow engine.

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