We recently caught up with Frank Meinhold, Partner Alliance Manager for Epicor, and asked him about the benefits of the strategic partnership between Epicor and Avalara.
Tell me a little about yourself and your role at Epicor
In my career I have worked as a Vertical Market Manager and Product Manager for Experian and for the last 15 years have worked as a business development and alliance manager for Epicor. In my alliance manager role, I work closely with our marketing teams to identify solution opportunities that compliment Epicor’s product offering and help structure new solution partnerships; while at the same serve as the corporate liaison and business manager for Epicor’s existing alliance partners.
As I reflect across the Epicor alliance partner community, I would consider Avalara as one of our most successful partners in aligning themselves with Epicor and Epicor’s midmarket prospects and clients.
What types of partnerships best serve your customers?
The partners who seem to be the most successful in the midmarket, like Epicor, focus on providing feature rich, out-of-the box solutions that can immediately address a client’s business needs in an affordable way that scales with their business. For the most part the solutions that are successful are the ones that solve the bread and butter business issues that companies need to resolve in one form or another. Avalara’s AvaTax solution is one of these and Epicor’s customers gain the benefits of increased productivity, better accuracy, and lower business risk in using this service. When you add responsiveness and excellent customer service to the mix, it is clear why a partner like Avalara will be successful with our customers.
What makes a great Epicor partnership?
There are several success factors that I have noted over the years that lay the foundation for a successful and solid business partnership with Epicor. Avalara has successfully executed on many of these.
Avalara has been flexible and collaborative in positioning and aligning their solutions with Epicor’s offerings. This can be seen through branding and collateral efforts and constructing value based pricing models. Second only in importance to the functionality of a partner’s solution for our customers is how well the integration works. Avalara’s development teams have worked well with Epicor’s to develop and maintain two-way integrations between our solutions.
Avalara has also been responsive and collaborative in working through customer issues alongside Epicor. Avalara has also stood out as providing outstanding sales support to our field representatives who know that they can count on the Avalara team to help address client and prospect questions whenever they arise. In a recent conversation I had with an Epicor sales executive, he noted that, “. . . Avalara does a great job. They are responsive to our needs for sales assistance and are proactive in asking for ways to drive more sales. They get an ‘A’ in my book.” Having that support and a positive image from the sales team is a success factor worth its weight in gold and Avalara has earned it.
What benefits have you seen from partnering with Avalara?
Avalara is a great partner to work with, is one of the most active & engaging partners that we deal with, and serves as a good blueprint for how to work with other partners.
How does partnering with Avalara help you better serve your customers? (what’s the impact?)
Avalara is clearly expert when it comes to Sales & Use Tax compliance, and the ability to totally remove the pain point for our many customers is hugely significant. Mixed with their enthusiasm and and the ability to make tax fun at events, they are a great benefit to our customers.
What results have you seen from partnering with Avalara?
Year-over-year incremental revenue growth and a growing set of satisfied customers.
Has partnering with Avalara given you a competitive advantage? If so, how?
Aside from the value of the service itself, our customers have gained the efficiency of obtaining this useful and complimentary solution through Epicor as a single source.