SAN MATEO (02/25/2000) - In the e-business market, regardless of your technical merits, you're only as good as the company you keep. With that in mind, Art Technology Group (ATG) is ramping up its partnership programs in an effort to increase business while maintaining quality.
The platform provider's Java-based Dynamo software includes application server, personalization, and commerce server components.
The 365-person company already relies heavily on its partners, as evidenced by the fact that 75 percent of its $13.3 million fourth-quarter 1999 revenues were generated through third parties.
ATG's customer base includes Informix, Sun, AltaVista, TheStreet.com, 3M, Eastman Kodak, Scudder Kemper, AT&T, MTV/Nickelodeon, J.Crew, and Harvard Business School.
To broaden this base, ATG will launch or expand partner services this year in the areas of education and training, support, customer advocacy, and others, according to Mark Walls, director of ATG's partner programs and strategic alliances.
ATG is also looking to increase the number of hosted Dynamo applications through the ASP (application service provider) model, said Rich Coplow, director of product marketing and technology partnerships at ATG.
Because Dynamo has shown to be relatively high-performance, the platform is well-suited to the high-volume demands of ASP offerings, according to Coplow.
"We push the Java envelope in terms of performance. For example, we developed DSPs (Dynamo Server Pages) to handle high volumes. The key is making sure that DSPs and JSPs (Java Server Pages) work together," Coplow said.
One business partner adopting the ASP model agreed. "We have a hosted model for various components of an e-business solution. Dynamo can handle just about anything you can throw at it," said Alex Vandillen, business development director for Xuma, a systems integrator, in San Francisco.
In general, Vandillen lauded the ATG partnership strategy of supporting the technical requirements of the channel and giving third parties leeway in terms of margins.
"They're an extremely good fit for integrators like Xuma. Their model is more focused on customer satisfaction than on generating licenses and dropping margins in the channel. It's more about customer satisfaction and recurring revenue," Vandillen said.
Vandillen also praised the Dynamo platform's speed of deployment.
Among ATG's partner initiatives is an extranet and portal for both Dynamo technical information and best implementation practices. The partner extranet, which has been piloted internally, will be rolled out to partners in the next several months. The extranet will also include a repository called Plasma, with technical information on Dynamo and Java.
Part of the initiative is a so-called customer advocacy group within ATG, which keeps tabs on customer engagements and acts as facilitator and mediator among vendor, partner, and customer.
Additionally, ATG has formed a partner support team to handle downstream support via sales and program management phases.
ATG Express Services will provide ATG expert assistance throughout the projects, said Mark Walls, director of partner programs and strategic alliances.
Separately, ATG and Broadbase Software announced last week a partnership around integrating ATG's Dynamo with Broadbase's personalization and e-commerce applications.
ATG, in Cambridge, Mass., can be reached at www.atg.com.