While they had made significant progress on their own, Serrure said they realized they had hit a point where they could use some help building a partner program as a means of furthering the company’s global expansion efforts. That was when they turned to Microsoft.
It was a natural choice. According to Serrure, NeoLedge has worked with Microsoft since its inception in 1993. “We chose Microsoft technology from the beginning. All our products are based on Microsoft platforms – the .NET platform, SQL Server and Windows Server.” When NeoLedge started to contemplate moving to the cloud, the choice of which service to use was clear. “Microsoft Azure appears to us as the best IaaS and PaaS platform currently existing. It has the best ratio between price, performance and features. The interoperability with Office 365 is also important for us.”
As an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) in the Microsoft Go-To-Market Services program, NeoLedge was able to participate in the Microsoft Global Expansion program. NeoLedge worked with Microsoft to develop a strategy for global expansion, including producing a partner program playbook.
“They helped us create a completely new document, gathering our strategy, the key factors of our solution, what we offer to customers and what we want as partners,” Serrure said. “This helped us create formal key data we had never written down before. We now have a clear view of our strengths, our positioning, and our value propositions.”
Creating the playbook was the first step in creating their new indirect strategy focusing on partners. With help from Microsoft, NeoLedge designed a complete bill of specifications explaining what they can offer partners as well as what characteristics they are looking for in partners. Serrure said the partner playbook is now used across NeoLedge’s different offices, especially by channel managers to help them recruit partners, and to make sure they are targeting the right partners.
“The Global Expansion program has enabled us to structure not only the way we have expanded internationally, but also our indirect strategy, our product positioning, and our value offer compared to our competitors and towards our customers,” Serrure said.
Working with Microsoft to develop global expansion has already started to bear fruit for NeoLedge. “Microsoft connected us with Canadian company R3D, which went on to become our first Canadian partner,” Serrure said. “Thanks to this partnership, we won our first North American customer, the City of Sherbrooke, which chose our solutions, Elise and Elise City.”
NeoLedge’s plans for further global expansion look bright. “Thanks to the help of Microsoft, we’re now focusing our global expansion efforts on entering the North American market. We’re also aiming to strengthen our presence in the U.K. and recruit a strong network of partners.” Serrure said. “We found this program very helpful for our company. The individual support from Microsoft has not only helped us with our partner recruitment process and international strategy but also with our marketing and sales.”