How do CMS partners and SIs can differentiate themselves? One way -- is through vendor certification and partnerships.
Certified vs. Standard dotCMS Partner
The new partner program comes in two flavors: standard and certified. For a Standard Partner, the training is voluntary. However, if you want to become a Certified Partner, it is mandatory to go through training (both System Administrator and Developer) and have 2 people in the organization at all times certified in both Sys Admin and Dev.
Sys Admin plus Dev training is 26 hours of live or virtual classroom, plus another 20 hours to take both exams. It is a big commitment to take someone offline for a week, and that level of commitment is one reason Certified Partners are so valuable to dotCMS and their clients.
Developer certification test is intended for dotCMS developers who have already completed the dotCMS developer training, and/or developed Java code for several dotCMS Enterprise level installations.
Topics on the certification test include dotCMS developmental architecture, SVN merge and revision handling, dotCMS infrastructure, setting up a development environment, plug-in development, Velocity and AJAX programming.
The dotCMS System Administration certification test is intended to verify the required skills to properly administer a dotCMS installation. This certification test is designed for server administrators who have already completed the dotCMS server administrator training, and/or have implemented and maintained several dotCMS enterprise-level installations.
Topics on the certification test include dotCMS installation and configuration, LDAP, clustered environments, maintenance, performance tuning and plug-in installation/deployment.
What Do Partners Get from This?
Certified Partners receive a lead generation stipend from dotCMS in the amount of US$ 2500 stipend. All partners can tap into development and services engagements. For each subscription sold, a partner can get anywhere from US$ 20k to US$ 150k of dev and services work.
All partners receive 20% of all subscription sales. If they happen to sell any of the professional services, they also get 20% of those sales.
There are costs to join the partner program at both levels.
What Does dotCMS Get?
By increasing its partner channel dotCMS hopes to get more subscription sales. There is a significant financial and resource commitment to become a Certified Partner, which makes them motivated to convert that investment into business.
Another benefit is the growth of dotCMS ecosystem, which, as we know, is crucial for any open source CMS vendor.
“This program is built on the principle of meaningful commitment,” says Beardslee. First, partners pay to the vendor, enter training and certs. dotCMS, in its turn, spends time and effort to design and administer the training, as well as paying for lead generation.