Business Objects has just announced a new Authorized Consulting Partner Program (ACP) so that consultants can “distinguish” themselves in the market. The following is a quote from an article in the IT News Online:
“Business Objects customers have come to expect a certain level of service quality when it comes to consulting engagements. However, in the wider marketplace, the skills of individuals and the approach to implementation can be highly variable.”
This is the same reasoning used when they initiated the program for authorized training two years ago. They “wanted to ensure the quality of all training manuals”. The only tangible result I saw was that two publishers put out their same Crystal books with a 50% price increase to cover the BO license fees. I am not aware of BO rejecting or even editing any manuals submitted for approval – as long as the publisher was willing to pay the fees. I do know that at least 2 publishers chose to ignore the program and I spoke with several training providers that simply dropped their Crystal course offerings. So BO ensures quality by forcing users to pay more for the same training manuals. Don’t forget to thank them.
And now they seem to be pushing the same line for consulting. A consultant who pays to be certified, then agrees to pay commissions to BO, then raises their rates … is now a better value to the customer. More likely BO is simply trying to steer some of the independent Crystal consulting out there into their revenue stream.