Rest in Peace PRM (Goodbye Old Friend)

Posted on May 25, 2016

By Scott Salkin



Today, as we say goodbye to one who was both a friend and nemesis, it’s only fitting that we start by remembering the good. A child of the 90’s, PRM was “all that and a bag of chips” when business professionals first laid eyes on it. Finally, channel sales and marketing leaders could get their hands on real software built just for them – on its own shiny CD. It wasn’t Windows 95, and it didn’t say “You’ve Got Mail,” but it was big and robust and it had folders and files and colorful icons, and it helped organize the contacts and documents needed to start simplifying a channel professional’s daily grind. Most importantly, it signaled that the channel was moving mainstream.

For years, PRM basked in the glory of being the go-to category for channel software. And as the requirements of the channel kept growing and growing, getting more complex, interactive and global alongside the ascent email and the internet, so too did PRM. In fact, you could almost say that P.R.M. actually stood for Y.E.S. as new vendors came into play with a tendency to take on every single feature request thrown their way.

And, so it grew.

And it grew.

And it grew.

And such a tangled web it wove. As if overcome by a rabid disease, PRM, which had tried so hard to please so many and bring together so many people and systems and processes, had suddenly stopped solving problems — and, instead, started creating them. Many even said that PRM was no longer software, but just custom code connecting portal-to-portal-to-portal, resulting in a literal dumping ground of near useless content and data. Even its once touted interface had corroded into an overwhelming, grisly and chaotic mess of buttons, icons, files, folders, tabs, graphics, and more.

With few other options, channel managers grew weary as PRM’s nervous system began clearly showing its age. Systems and workflows that had once helped simplify routine tasks were now crippling partners by unintentionally resulting in barrier after barrier between the partners’ sales reps and their financial success. But worst of all, PRM’s vision had been overrun by greedy vendors who had completely lost touch with the audience its early creators had truly hoped to help most: customers.

And in 2016, the struggle only got worse. Over the past several years, the buyer’s journey has undergone unprecedented changes; the workforce has become younger and more mobile; and the economy has shifted its focus to cloud-based subscription models based on relationships and customer success. PRM continued to deteriorate until it simply became overwhelmed — technically, emotionally and financially — with modern business needs.

At the end, the speed, cost and flexible capabilities of modern SaaS systems that focused on partners and customers were finally enough to let PRM slip away. And perhaps most importantly, it no longer had to hide its shortcomings, pretending to be like its SaaS competitors, or be sold with the shameless and deceitful lies that had become so common. It was time. And it knew that immortality was a fate even worse than death.

So farewell, PRM. Rest in peace. Know that you set the stage for something better. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding our horizons. As we say our goodbyes, know that Partner Sales Acceleration will carry forth your legacy with pride.


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Scott Salkin

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