Business development, VARs research
the myth of American supremacy
Reading this forum and arguing with some self styled Rambo Americans one gets an impression that outsourcing is a pbutting fad like...
absolutePDF is a small group of developers (two in fact, Guido and myself) based in Turin, Italy. Last year we decided to exploit some of the experience in the field of PDF creation and network programming, which we had acquired in the last 5 years of professional activity, by creating a range of components and tools for programmers and consultants.
In the last 12 months (more or less) we've released 6 tools (see the website) and we're in the process of releasing a 7th which will change our strategy for growth and expansion. Our first idea was to create cheap software for the mbuttes, and the components got a good welcome but without enough numbers to make it worthwhile (we still have other jobs, so we don't risk early closure like most new companies do).
Our new strategy is to create a network of VARs which can be interested in using our products for their customers. To a VAR we offer good components at a reasonable price. Instead of complex contracts the VAR need only sign as an affiliate with Plimus (no setup fees whatsoever and no minimum sale), our payment processor: this way the VAR will be able to have the customer purchase the product and get the revenue automatically from Plimus. For special bids or campaigns we can create coupons reserved to the VAR.
On our side, the risk is that the VAR doesn't sell anything (so no problem).
On the VAR side, the risks are: - that we change our mind and close shop (but I wouldn't be here working to expand the business, and we don't have many expenses that could bring us down before time) - that we don't pay commissions (and here we have Plimus as a warranty) - that we don't solve problems (so far our customers are all happy with our ability to respond and solve problems, since we develop our own tools)
As an added bonus, the application we're going to release is created with the VAR in mind: by compiling layouts (for the conversion of text files to PDF) with the code we provide a VAR obtains the runtime at a discount for his customer, but the runtime is bound to that code and cannot execute layouts compiled without it. In this way there's mutual benefit for the VAR and for the customer while protecting the investment of the VAR in terms of knowledge and experience.
It's a win win, as I see it. I'd love to discuss the possible downsides and pitfalls of this relationship.
You can contact us at info at abspdf.com c-o P. Asioli C.so Trapani 227-18 10100 Torino (Italy) phone: +39 339 6158821 (not being English our first language please forgive for our awful mastering of it, or use email in preference)
Best regards, Paolo