The Best (and Worst) Vendor Partner Portals

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How do your vendors’ portals stack up? Channelnomics subjectively rated some of the most popular partner portals on a scale of one (worst) to five (best) based on design, ease of use, relevance of search criteria and usefulness of the results. Here’s what we found.

For channel partners looking for organic lead generation, your best and worst bet may be your leading vendors’ locator portals. As many major vendors run global channels, customers often choose to skip the search engine and skim a list of partners in their area. But how do your vendors’ portals stack up? Channelnomics subjectively rated some of the most popular partner portals on a scale of one (worst) to five (best) based on design, ease of use, relevance of search criteria and usefulness of the results.

Take note --  because a lousy Web portal that’s unintuitive or offers limited partner results could be turning away frustrated visitors. Unfortunately, that reflects poorly on both the vendor and the partner, as well. Here’s what we found in order from worst to best, including five partner finders rated as "excellent."

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>> NEXT: SEE HOW THE PARTNER PORTALS STACK UP

NetApp Inc.

Design: 1/5
Ease: 1/5
Relevance: 1/5
Results: 1/5

NetApp_partnerportal

Overall Rating: 1 (Fail)

The least intuitive partner locator ever. Cannot search by location, only by keyword or reseller name. Breaks down partner search into four separate portals for each type (service provider, reseller ,etc..), with the same ineffective search engine for each. Results only offer partner services, level and general location (e.g. USA). Mouse over provides small partner details with link to website. No maps.

http://www.netapp.com/us/partners/

>> NEXT: Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett-Packard Co.HP

Design: 2/5
Ease: 2/5
Relevance: 2/5
Results: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2 (Poor)

HP’s partner locator portal offers too many initial selections, all of which are reset when moving back in the browser after a search.  HP forces an initial selection on type of partner, then forces a product category and a sub-product before a search can begin -- a forced filter that can yield zero results. This is inefficient. Results are sparse, including partner name, phone number and a link to a profile detail that contains no additional information.

http://h20465.www2.hp.com/GPL/search.aspx?language_code=en&country_code=us

>> NEXT: Lenovo

Lenovo Group Ltd.lenovo

Design: 1/5
Ease: 3/5
Relevance: 3/
Results: 2/5

Overall Rating: 2 (Poor)

Lenovo’s partner locator portal is basic but functional, offering only four selections for partner type. Partners are primarily found by location and results is basic, with an address, map and phone number. Detailed partner information does not exist, and there are no links to partner web pages.

http://www.partnerinfo.lenovo.com/partners/us/resources/dealerlocator.shtml

>> NEXT: SAP Standard

SAP AG Standard SAP

Design: 3/5
Ease: 2/5
Relevance: 2/5
Results: 3/5

Overall Rating: 2 (Poor)

No way to search via location -- only by solution type or partner company name. Results offer partner type and focus but no contact details. Partner detail page offers scant details, website link and phone number.

http://www.sap.com/partners/directories/SearchPartner.epx

>> NEXT: ADTRAN

ADTRAN Inc.ADTRAN

Design: 2/5
Ease: 4/5
Relevance: 3/5
Results: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3 (Fair)

Poor design but efficient. Search starts with a zip code only and results offer partner contact information, partner website and partner specializations. No detailed partner profile available.

http://www.adtran.com/web/page/portal/Adtran/wp_findapartner_landing

>> NEXT: Trend Micro

Trend Micro Inc.TrendMicro

Design: 3/5
Ease: 3/5
Relevance: 5/5
Results: 2/5

Overall Rating: 3 (Fair)

Very basic, partner search is conducted by keyword of location only. Same style but different portal page for small, medium and enterprise resellers. Partner results is sparse, offering link to partner’s web page, partner status and phone number.

http://www.trendmicro.com/us/partners/find-reseller-small-business/index.html

>> NEXT: Dell

Dell Inc. Dell

Design: 3/5
Ease: 4/5
Relevance: 5/5
Results: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4 (Good)

Dell’s partner portal is straightforward. Searches can be conducted quickly and simply with a zip code and a choice of distance radius. Result lists offer a quick look at specializations, location, partner web page URL and phone number.

http://partnerdirect.dell.com/sites/channel/en_bt/Marketing-and-Sales/Find-a-Partner/Pages/PartnerFinder.aspx
 

>> NEXT: VMWare

VMWare Inc.VMware

Design: 4/5
Ease: 4/5
Relevance: 4/5
Results: 3/5

Overall Rating: 4 (Good)

VMware’s portal requires only limited input before browsing partners, but results are a bit unhelpful. Partner name, level and certifications are offered up first, but contact details and other key information is available only after linking to a profile page. No maps.

http://partnerlocator.vmware.com/

 >> NEXT: Symantec

Symantec Corp. Symantec

Design: 4/5
Ease: 4/5
Relevance: 3/5
Results: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4 (Good)

Allows a quick search with only a zip-code, partner type or partner specialization. Partner results include proximity, but no map or phone number. However, links to partner profiles offer complete partner details, including services, products, specializations, customer size capabilities and awards won.

http://partnerlocator.symantec.com/public/search;country=United%20States;v=advanced/

>> NEXT: Oracle

 

Oracle Corp. Oracle

Design: 3/5
Ease: 2/5
Relevance: 5/5
Results: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4 (Good)

Not intuitive to use, but clickable filters make it easier. Searches are conducted primarily by keyword and could not search for partners via zip code. Partner results included partner name, website, specializations and contact information.

http://www.oracle.com/us/partnerships/solutions-catalog/specialized-partners/index.html

 

>> NEXT: Red Hat

Red Hat Inc.RedHat

Design: 4/5
Ease: 4/5
Relevance: 5/5
Results: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4 (Good)

Partners could be quickly located by zip code or by type, partner level, industry or application focus. Includes a map and partner contact info with link to partner website. Additional link to partner details offered specializations, target market size and certifications.

http://redhat.force.com/finder/Partner_Finder

 

>> NEXT: Microsoft

Microsoft Corp. Microsoft

Design: 3/5
Ease: 4/5
Relevance: 5/5
Results: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4 (Good)

Smart search box, allowed me to search for anything, from zip code to partner name to specialization -- thought it didn’t make this apparent.  Initial results only offered a map, partner name, competency and a blurb, with a partner profile link. Microsoft’s partner page offers full  partner details, but requires tabs to see some apps services certifications. User reviews are useful.

http://pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-US/home

>> NEXT: EMC

 

EMC Corp. EMC

Design: 4/5
Ease: 4/5
Relevance: 4/5
Results: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4 (Good)

No map, but simple search with zip code is enabled. Partner name, type and website is given on initial search with a extremely detailed partner profile page including contact info. No maps.

http://emc.force.com/PartnerFinder

>> NEXT: Amazon AWS

Amazon.com Inc. AWS AWS

Design: 4/5
Ease: 3/5
Relevance: 5/5
Results: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4 (Good)

Not a traditional partner locator, as location is not as important. Offers two separate partner locators for technology partners and consulting partners and provides a side bar filter that includes AWS region, service type, industry and specializations.

https://aws.amazon.com/solution-providers

>> NEXT: Sophos

 

Sophos Ltd.Sophos

Design: 4/5
Ease: 5/5
Relevance: 5/5
Results: 4/5

Overall Rating: 5 (Excellent)

Offers to use your location to automatically detect the nearest partners. Results provide differentiation between silver, gold and platinum partners. Link to partner website is available alongside a pin-dropped labeled map to show all local partner location.

http://www.sophos.com/en-us/partners/partnerlocator.aspx

 

>> NEXT: Cisco Systems

 

Cisco Systems Inc.Cisco

Design: 5/5
Ease: 4/5
Relevance: 5/5
Results: 4/5

Overall Rating: 5 (Excellent)

Cisco’s greatest strength is a predicative search box that lets you search for both a partner’s name and the kind of services a customer may be looking for, e.g. “cloud infrastructure” or “unified communications.”  Cisco’s portal is a singular page affair, offering a localize map, a list of partners and respective phone numbers. Partners names are hyperlinked to a detailed partner profile page with available services and certifications.

http://tools.cisco.com/WWChannels/LOCATR/openBasicSearch.do

>> NEXT: Citrix Systems

Citrix Systems Inc.Citrix

Design: 4/5
Ease: 5/5
Relevance: 5/5
Results: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5 (Excellent)

Quick zip code search for either solution, hosting or distribution partners. Results offer Google Maps with partner level and partner type. Link-over to partner details offered very useful and neatly organized information, including certification types, individual staff certifications and key industry focus.

http://www.citrix.com/buy/partnerlocator/

>> NEXT: IBM

IBM Corp.IBM

 

Design: 5/5
Ease: 5/5
Relevance: 4/5
Results: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5 (Excellent)

IBM’s site is friendly, allowing an instant search even with no input criteria. Results can be filtered by solution type, product, service or partner type. Mousing over partner results offers basic partner details with a link to a full partner profile highlighting certifications and specializations and location map. Smooth and intuitive.

https://www-304.ibm.com/partnerworld/wps/bplocator/landing

>> NEXT: SAP SME

SAP AG SME: SAPSME

Design: 5/5
Ease: 5/5
Relevance: 5/5
Results: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5 (Excellent)

SAP’s SME partner locator was far more robust, offered zip search with live map including clickable pin-drops quick links to full partner details, competencies, web site and contact information. This portal gets a 5/5 across the board.

http://smepartnerfinder.sap.com/en/#/partnerfinder/

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