At its PegaWorld Inspire conference this week, Carola Cazenave, vice president, global partner ecosystems, Pegasystems, announced the launch of Pega Partners. Before the event, Cazenave used the phrase “Pega and partners can crush complexity” to describe its intent. Cazenave joined Pega around a year ago. She noted: “My first goal was to expand on all the engagements with our partners to ensure that every corner of the company was talking about Pega and partners.” This announcement is another step towards completing that goal. It was one of the major announcements that Pega has made this week.
Pega Partners aims to create the foundation for a frictionless engagement between Pega, its partners and its customers. According to Cazenave, 35% of customers are already working with integrated teams of partners and their own people. It is a percentage that she wants to increase. The new partner program aims to do this with a new Pega Partner portal and the enhanced Pega Marketplace.
The partner portal
The Partner Portal is for both customers, partners and potential partners. Potential partners can learn more about partnering with Pega and can apply to join the programs. Existing partners have a landing page that customers can view. That page initially gives a summary of its expertise the partner has concerning Pega. They can add additional content to the page as well.
Accenture, a consulting partner, has included several videos and a report that details how the two companies work with customers. There is also a selection detailing the solutions it has built with Pega, customer case studies and further information.
Cognizant, a Pega platinum partner, has a similarly comprehensive page of information. Raju Rampa, VP, sales leader, North America Pega Practice, Cognizant commented: “We value our relationship with Pega and look forward to continuing our work together in providing best-in-class, cloud-based solutions to address our clients’ complex business challenges. With our strong Pega expertise, we are empowering businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic to drive innovation that directly impacts their business results.”
Cazenave also revealed that areas of the partner portal would also enable collaboration between Pega Sales and delivery teams as well as the partner teams. While 40 partners helped develop the Portal and marketplace, Enterprise Times asked Cazenave whether she was looking for more. She replied: “We have certain industries and certain regions where definitely we need more power. For example, we have manufacturing, Life Sciences, and even consumer products where we want to ensure that we have more partners. We need that subject matter expertise and solutions for those specific market.”
The marketplace hosts over two hundred solutions that have been built on the Pega Platform. It includes components, packaged service offerings, language packs and applications. The information on applications is basic. For example, SmartCOMM for Pega by SMART Communications has an overview and a list of key features. There is no mention of version information, updates or pricing. This is the first generation of the marketplace, and it will be interesting to see how it develops.
Randy Putnam, director, strategic partnerships, Smart Communications, commented: “As one of Pega’s first ISV partners and a member of Pega’s Partner Challenger Advisory board, I had the pleasure to collaborate directly with Pega partners and with the Pega ecosystem team to streamline the partner program. Pega listened to us, their partners, and customers to develop a highly effective go-forward program.”
Key components of the program for customers
The new program has the intent to create a curated list of partners that customers should work with. To achieve this, Pega has added a new vetting structure to ensure that partners have Pega Experts trained and up to date with that training through a validation framework. Through the partner portal and marketplace, they can quickly identify the likely Partner they wish to work with.
Ultimately this will enable customers to build an effective team combining Pega, a partner and their people to drive faster return on investment and deliver business benefits.
Cazenave noted: “If a partner is an authorised partner by Pega now, a client can have total trust that that Partner the digitalization, has the certifications, the sales capability, but also that they have the practice of having implemented this before.
“Our partners are central to our business, our clients’ success, and our long-term growth goals. This announcement represents a significant milestone in delivering on our promise to our clients and partners to expand our partner ecosystem value. We worked extremely closely with our partners on program development to ensure their interests are aligned with the new framework. We look forward to continuing to deliver high-value impact in all we do with, and for, the Pega Partners ecosystem.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Cazenave admitted that this is the first generation of the Portal and the marketplace. She also said that it would continue to develop the platform, with more coming in the next few months. What those changes are, she did not say. At present, the marketplace could provide more detail around the versions, product information and reviews.
Reviews are an area for improvement. However, Cazenave may be better partnering for review on the partners with a platform like Raven Intel. It already has reviews for some of its partners for other vendors, including Cognizant and Accenture, just not for Pega.
Cazenave appears to have achieved a lot in the last year to drive these changes through, and her spot on the PegaWorld stage is merited. The partner program is a significant improvement by Pega and should enhance the experience of both customers and partners with working with it.