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The Great Debate: Should You Build or Buy Your Partner Portal?
December 28, 2017
The Great Debate: Should You Build or Buy Your Partner Portal?

In today’s subscription economy, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and the Cloud have become the accepted standard for most businesses as they build their technology infrastructure and software stacks. But even with global behemoths such as Salesforce leading the SaaS revolution, some business units are still taking notice of several critical reasons why organizations at every stage are increasing their savvy in SaaS. And, in doing so, they’re finally finding comfort in severing their reliance upon homegrown, cobbled-together systems and the legacy hybrid-SaaS architectures of the early 2000s.


When it comes to building modern software stacks, partner portals have remained one of the final frontiers of business systems yet to realize the many advantages that true, multi-tenant SaaS platforms can offer. For decades, many businesses have relied upon “build your own” portals because it was their only cost-effective option. Legacy partner relationship management (PRM) systems were both too complex and too expensive, with costs piling-up for not only for the software itself, but also for implementation, customization, maintenance, support, and more.


Today – finally – channel leaders are being presented with new options. Although some PRM vendors still rely on legacy or hybrid infrastructures and complex methodologies, a new breed of simple, powerful and affordable SaaS solutions are putting an end to the days of “Build Your Own Portal.” And in doing so, launching an exciting new era of flexible, cost-effective, value-driven channel programs for all. The reasons are many – but here are three of the most important:


Time to value.

For most companies, the process of building a homegrown portal can take months of planning, designing, building, testing, and launching. In business, that’s a lifetime. In contrast, a true multi-tenant SaaS solution can be up and running in just minutes or hours – and be live in days or weeks. This saves tends of thousands in costs, man hours and support – and the accelerated recognition of revenue can be invaluable.


Customization and support.

Let’s face it – a homegrown portal could turn out beautiful and extremely effective. But like any website or software application, it’s never finished and needs plenty of love and attention. And with additional systems such as your CRM, ERP or learning management system connected to it, your home-grown partner portal must continue to accommodate for a never-ending list of requirements, features and functionality – both internal and external – putting a heavy, never-ending burden on your team.


Total cost of ownership.

This is a big one – just ask your CEO or CFO. Business applications that live in-house require infrastructure, security, redundancy, availability and more. Is building and supporting an enterprise-class partner portal something your organization truly has the ability and resources to take-on? A true multi-tenant SaaS platform built on a global, enterprise-class infrastructure such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) gives you best-of-breed viability in all phases. And thanks to the API-first architecture of SaaS, businesses can now integrate a scalable solution that increases their efficiency while enhancing customer (and partner) satisfaction.


It’s easy to see why “Build Your Own” was once the viable – even smart – alternative to the complex and expensive PRM platforms on the market. Luckily, however, those days are over. Next generation PRM platforms such as Allbound make SaaS a no-brainer. Now it’s just up to you to see for yourself!

Daniel Graff-Radford
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