A conversation with Lina Parness, LogiGear
Lina Parness runs the Alliances and Partnerships program for LogiGear and has more than 15 years experience helping companies expand partner programs and business development channels. She took time to speak with Software Business Growth about how she helped build the Partner Program at LogiGear, as well as the unique challenges that come with working with large partners such as Oracle.
Q: What was the state of LogiGear’s partner program when you arrived?
Parness: Before I arrived at LogiGear, there wasn’t a formal partner program in place and I am proud of the program we have built so far. Finding partners that were thought leaders in their own respective areas allowed LogiGear to offer a service offering that fits in nicely within the DevOps toolchain, along with supporting services.
Our partner program has grown by 40 percent in the past 18 months. We have added several technical and service delivery partners including Oracle, Sauce Labs, Chef, Docker, IBM, AutoDeploy, and Royal Cyber.
Last year, LogiGear TestArchitect became IBM Rational certified. This year we have added Oracle’s EBS & JD Edwards. TestArchitect is a natural fit for business and domain testers, which fits in nicely into the ERP market. We also support for Microsoft Dymanics, SAP Hana and Guidewire.
TestArchitect is proud to support Oracle EBS and JD Edwards. This new product release helps our customers and partners keep code current with releases. It’s the perfect solution for keeping up with software releases, or to streamline managed services offerings and reduce operational costs.
At LogiGear, we are looking for partners that want to utilize TestArchitect in their QA practice. TestArchitect is a modern keyword driven test that employs Action Based Testing and keyword driven test development. TestArchitect is exceptionally easy to use yet powerful when it comes to extensibility. This allows smaller programming staff to support a much larger non-programming staff. Additionally, LogiGear also offers a tool agnostic service arm for partners and customers that want to extend their testing practice by leveraging LogiGear.
Q: What does the onboarding process for new partners look like?
Parness: LogiGear has a comprehensive onboarding program which is tailored to fit the individual needs of our partners. Our partners have access and receive support from marketing, sales engineers, and LogiGear’s technical staff to support them throughout the sales cycle. LogiGear’s delivery/reseller partners also receive training from our technical staff to help acquaint our partners with our test automation product, TestArchitect, enabling them to sell it on their own. We have an extensive resource center with marketing literature, training sessions, software trials, pre and post product support, lead sharing, event participation, email campaign support, and much more.
Q: How is the LogiGear channel team structured?
Parness: I lead LogiGear’s partner program and enjoy great support from LogiGear’s dedicated sales engineers and product managers. Additionally, our marketing department provides support for partner marketing campaigns.
Q: What has been your best tool for recruiting new partners?
Parness: We leverage LinkedIn to reach out to potential partners with our unique value proposition. LinkedIn makes access to potential partners very easy and helps navigate an organization effectively.
LogiGear gets a lot of interest in our partner program from our magazine. The magazine is released quarterly and is a tremendous resource to the testing and DevOps communities. Last year LogiGear published an article about testing Alexa and other voice applications. We had tremendous response from customers and partners. You can view the magazine here: http://www.logigear.com/magazine/
Q: What are some of the challenges you have overcome since coming on board to the LogiGear team?
Parness: One of the most difficult challenges for me when I began at LogiGear was understanding what to look for in our partners and how to position the partnership. Within a few months it became very clear how to define the right partner and how to position TestArchitect and LogiGear Services, so the value add was clear.
Q: LogiGear recently announced a new partnership with Oracle. How do you navigate the challenges of working with such a massive company?
Parness: The way LogiGear vets technology partners is simple; We look for applications where users that are having difficulties keeping abreast of release cycles and integrations. When it’s a hardship keeping up with the latest releases, it’s a terrific fit for LogiGear and/or TestArchitect.
Oracle customers meet these criteria; Oracle’s customers are still relying on manual testing, which is holding them back on two different counts. First, with Oracle’s rapid release cycle, we support organizations enabling them to stay code current. Oracle requires integrations with other applications and business testers, domain experts and coders are not always readily available to write tests, making test automation implementation at times, difficult. A solid test automation practice must be in place if an organization wants to leverage DevOps successfully. TestArchitect solves two big issues. First, it's a test automation tool, and second, it's codeless. This allows users without a programming background to automate easily. It uses the proprietary Action-Based Testing Language, a form of Keyword driven testing providing the ability to rapidly scale to enterprise test automation with high coverage levels — a must for Continuous Delivery. The ABT language allows users to change the AUT almost instantly — allowing them to stay code current.
All in all, regardless of the size of the company, LogiGear is here to help elevate testing angst and help our partners and customers achieve CT and stay current on software releases.
I also want to say — Oracle was one of the friendliest companies we have ever partnered with. They were very responsive, supportive, and a pleasure to partner with.
Q: What advice do you have for other software companies who are trying to maximize the effectiveness of their global partner program?
Parness: There are many pitfalls, one of which is not listening to a partner or potential partner about what they need. It is important to make sure you really listen to your partner.
A second pitfall to avoid is only contacting the alliances department when offering a solution to a potential partner. When your solution alleviates pain, it’s best to reach out to the group that is experiencing the pain. It’s not always the partner manager. My peers are looking to increase revenue with the least amount of resistance and often aren’t aware of delivery issues, which is why it’s important to reach out to both the delivery manager and alliances department together. The delivery manager can articulate their pain better and serve as an in-house champion.