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Partnering for Success

Partnering for Success

This month WLDJ focuses on third-party integration. We cover products that integrate at different levels of the BEA e-business platform, and have guest editorials from vendors who have successfully partnered with BEA to provide closely integrated solutions on top of WebLogic Server. Speaking of partnering...I am sorry for using the term "partner," as I think it's overused. It seems like every technology company in existence has at least one press release about a partnership with another firm to "take advantage of synergies," or "to comarket products and services that complement each other."

Dictionary.com defines partnership as: n. noun 1.) a contract between two or more persons who agree to pool talent and money and share in profits and losses 2.) the members of a business venture created by contract

In other words, a partnership is a relationship of mutual benefit between two entities. What exactly does it mean to successfully partner with BEA? I think you know the benefits you receive - increased exposure, marketability, technical support on BEA products, and discounts on education. However, how does your company, a small software boutique building deployment tools for WebLogic Server, actually provide BEA with some benefit?

In actuality, if you were at BEA's eWorld in February you probably got a reality check. BEA is benefiting greatly from its Star Partner program and its continued interest in it is of great importance to not only its livelihood, but also the livelihood of many software vendors in the J2EE space today. A walk through the exhibit hall where hundreds of vendors showcased their BEA-ready and built-on-BEA products indicated that BEA is as dependent on its partners as its partners are on it.

BEA's Star Partner program focuses on a win-win situation for both parties. The rise in partner numbers is evidence enough of its success. Numerous partners are available for both vertical and horizontal markets to help customers build custom applications more quickly, or allow them to simply install and configure solutions already built on top of WebLogic. Companies interested in becoming partners can apply online, entering company information through a user-friendly Web application. In concept, this puts partner information at the fingertips of needy customers looking for a specific BEA-related skill or product. They can search for a partner on BEA's site at http: http://bea2.instantsoft.com/sc/advancedsearch.jsp, and, once they have found the right match, contact the Star Partner for business.

The problem I found with this system is that everyone and their brother is a BEA partner for seemingly everything these days! In the Advanced Search section's vertical markets list box, I selected agriculture and found 40 listings. I thought, "Saweeeeeet, I won't have to custom code that grain elevator software after all," but to my chagrin, not a single company in the list had anything to do with the agricultural sciences. To each and every Star Partner reading this editorial, please consider the benefits of the program and your relationship with BEA and don't abuse it. If you abuse the partner program, you're really doing yourself, other partners, BEA, and, most important, potential customers a disservice.

A partnership is a two-way street, so continue to put the forces of innovation and marketing behind your partnership with BEA. The benefits will be countless for your company, your partner (BEA), and every customer you encounter together. Last, check to see if your company is in the program's agriculture vertical market and if so, remove it, please.

More Stories By Jason Westra

Jason Westra is the CTO of Verge Technologies Group, Inc. (www.vergecorp.com). Verge is a Boulder, CO based firm specializing in eBusiness solutions with Enterprise JavaBeans.

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