New products, channel exec hires, VAR program additions; who keeps track of it all? That would be me and here's my take the top news of the week.

I'd like to also point out that we're getting regular insights from accounting technology professionals and consultant veterans alike and I would like to highlight them more because while having the news of the day (or week) is valuable, it's the wisdom and best practices others offer that will likely impact you most in your business (and, to be fair, I'd like to think my viewpoints add to that also) but let's get to the top news for now.

News: SAP has signed on the first financial services-focused partner to its Master VAR program, with Somerset, N.J.-based Sita Corp. While its Master VAR program is not industry specific, the enterprise software maker is aiming to increase its presence in the financial services sector.

My Take: So, for those who don't know, SAP has had a Master VAR program for a few years now and while, as stated, it is not designed to be industry specific they did realize they could try to go after the financial services sector more with their offerings -- essentially through their VARs who have a deep or commited focus to that area. That's at the core of this news.

What needs to be said is that the program is at the end of the day designed to be another avenue to help drive product sales, partly by allowing smaller partners or even non-VARs to join up with a larger reseller in -- lets say -- slightly better standing with the publisher. It is, however, different from the Microsoft Dynamics Master VAR program, in that it is limited to Dynamics products and Microsoft has already ordained who exactly --in the U.S. anyway -- will be their Master VAR. It also brings into light the whole idea of master-vardom.

Seems to me that with all the talk of shrinking margins among the more "traditional" publishers in the accounting and ERP space, and the natural flow of M&A activity in the VAR space anyway, that a program like this would be whole-heartedly embrased by any of these types of publishers, given the aforementioned sales goals coupled with where VAR businesses are these days. Maybe we'll see more of them, or they'll just increasingly sell more direct.

News: Channel veteran Dawn Jaeger has joined Acumatica to head up its partner recruiting team. Jaeger has held senior marketing and sales positions for nearly two decades and most recently served as director of global channel development for SugarCRM. She was also channel recruitment manager at SAP America.

My Take: First off, yet another move by Acumatica, which is still a comparatively new name in the cloud ERP space to increase its U.S. market share. With an official channel program in place, top executives from Microsoft at the helm, Acumatica wants to go full blast at signing on partners and letting the rest of the ERP world know they're a player. Jaeger has contacts, she knows the lay of the land and once she really gets to know the product, she'll be able to pitch it against any ERP VAR looking to expand their offerings -- which is quite a few of them these days. Lots of options nowadays, so she'll have her work cut out for her. In Jaeger's words, she was looking for a change and a chance to make an impact at a financially sound, growing, non-public company in the CRM and ERP space. I think it gives the company some clout having her on board, and potential partners who perhaps would not have given Acumatica a call back may do so now. Look, as we all know, in the ERP reseller world most people who have been around a while know each other, and any partnership is off to a good start if you know who you are dealing with. Jaeger gives them that leg up.

News: CCH has unveiled Sales Tax RADAR (rates and decisions administration reporting), a new cloud-based tool designed to track rates and taxability details in thousands of jurisdictions.

My Take: I'm going to keep this one pretty staightforward: Knowing what sales and use tax to pay has become an enormous headache particularly for retailers. CPAs are in perfect line to take advantage of their consternation through tools that allow them to track all the rates and decsions surrounding them. There are other vendors providing these kinds of tools as well, CCH is putting their name behind it as well as their database. Kind of a no-brainer here.



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