Earnings(I know. Terrible pun. But it’s a holiday!)

ANSYS announced today that it’s launching the ANSYS Elite channel partner program — in essence, ramping up the certification program for partners who want to move beyond “Standard” and into “Elite”. ANSYS says “Elite partners must have exceptional customer satisfaction rates as well as technical teams that are fully certified by ANSYS. Only Elite partners will be certified to sell, support and service the entire ANSYS multiphysics simulation portfolio.”

This has been a bit of a bone of contention: ANSYS keeps adding to its portfolio by acquisition. In an ideal world, someone who has sold ANSYS structural solutions for years could now also sell electromagnetics, but they’re different physics, different customers, different selling processes, so it hasn’t been easy to get the cross-selling opportunities rolling for the channel. But there are customers who can benefit from the broader ANSYS offering, and channel partners who can take advantage of that opportunity should; so the question became, how?

It sounds as though the exact requirements will vary from region to region, but the general outline is to require Elite partners to go through more rigorous sales and technical training on ANSYS solutions, as well as follow-on certification. For its part, ANSYS will offer expanded promotion and demand generation.

ANSYS’ channel director Ravi Kumar made clear that this was an expansion and not a house-clearing: “We have worked with most of our channel partners for many years, and they have been a major contributor to our success. Our investment in this program will yield increased sales and technical capacity around the world to better service our customers and enable their simulation driven product development efforts globally. This global program also enables us to provide efficient and expanded market coverage for existing customers, small and medium businesses, and emerging markets.”

Suppliers are constantly tuning their channel programs, creating bronze/silver/gold and other tier schemes, and fiddling with compensation and joint marketing programs. It’s an attempt to get businesses you don’t control but rely on to do what you want. Sometimes it succeeds, other times it doesn’t. This seems like a relatively benign, though positive change — those who want the advanced certification and access to the entire portfolio can go for it, those who don’t can continue to sell and support what they’re comfortable with. It’ll become a question of how much overhead this adds to the resellers’ workload, keeping them in the office and doing ANSYS-focused work rather than customer-focused work.

So now you know. Go celebrate Martin Luther King’s legacy — here’s a piece I wrote last year about Dr. King’s impact on me.