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Bilafer’s BHAG: Column5’s EcoHub Success Story

As promised for this final post of my three part series on EcoHub, I want to share an EcoHub partner success story. Scottsdale, Arizona based Column5 is our largest SAP BusinessObjects dedicated Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) partner. They’ve had an EcoHub storefront in the Business Analytics Marketplace for about 18 months now and it’s going pretty well.

They started out small, with a simple storefront showcasing their business and linking through to their website—sort of a like an additional home page, but on EcoHub.

By adding pages for different aspects of their service offering, and by leveraging SAP’s PR and marketing support, they’ve been able to make their EcoHub storefront an important channel for creating awareness and interest.

David Den Boer, Owner and CEO of Column5, says SAP’s support of EcoHub has helped build this channel for Column5 in several key ways.

When SAP broke out the Business Analytics Marketplace as a separate EcoHub storefront, “The press release about that move got attention for EcoHub,” he says, “but it was also great for us because Column5 was mentioned along with another partner and that created buzz for us.”

“This is one of the great things about EcoHub–it levels the playing field. Our products are side by side with products from other partners. They’re easy for customers to find and evaluate based on their needs and the merits of the products,” he says. For a boutique firm like his, he says being on EcoHub in the company of other SAP partners helps boost confidence.

Column5 got another boost when they attended an SAP analyst briefing. “Because we had half a dozen offerings on Ecohub, Sanjay Poonen used our storefront in his presentation, so that gave us a lot of visibility,” says Den Boer.

Den Boer says SAP’s marketing investment in EcoHub builds awareness for Column5 on an ongoing basis. “This is an SAP-sanctioned area where customers can discover us,” says Den Boer. “The more solutions we put out, the more we come up in global searches, by region and by line of business.”

“It’s a win for everyone,” he says. “It delivers more value for the customer. It showcases the value-adds that are available for SAP and gives them a competitive edge and prevents prospects from looking outside the SAP system for solutions.”

Has it paid off in dollars? “No one has called us up to say ‘I saw you on EcoHub and I’m ready to sign a contract’”, Den Boer says, “but it definitely generates interest. At minimum it’s another channel, provided at no cost by SAP. It’s easy to set up, so why wouldn’t you use it to broadcast your offering?”

Thanks David. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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