The Changing Channel
No Coding Required: How To Develop IP Without Developers
Just about everybody seems to think that the only way to create your own IP is to become a developer. As one Microsoft partner shows, that's not the case.
- By Howard M. Cohen
- April 28, 2016
"Are we going to have to learn to code???"
Almost inevitably, I reach this point in any conversation I have with most any partner about the subject of creating your own intellectual property (IP) to sell. Just about everybody seems to think that the only way to create your own IP is to become a developer, and that means coding.
A Partner You'll Want To Meet
At last year's Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, I met the remarkable Michelle Melbourne, who prefers to be called Chelle (shell-eee) and bills herself as a "digital disruptor."
The company she co-founded with her husband in 2005 is Intelledox, an ISV based in Canberra, Australia, and its premier product is called Infiniti.
Intelledox Infiniti is described as "a mobile-ready business process digitalization product that assists organisations to improve customer engagement, drive down operational costs, increase efficiency and reduce the burden of paperwork and red tape." With Infiniti, explains Melbourne, "You can build an entire process in a day."
How? Using a graphical interface that allows most any user to select, move and arrange various building blocks into the process. According to Melbourne, "you only need to have a good familiarity with your process."
The Intelledox Web site says that "Intelledox customers across four continents use Infiniti to digitalize paper-based processes, capture data more effectively and automate document generation. Infiniti doesn't just replicate paper forms and manual processes; it optimizes entire business processes to make them faster, smarter and more efficient. Infiniti's four powerful communication tools (smartforms, line-of-business integration, data transformation and document automation) deliver return on investment in weeks, rather than months or years."
Tight integration with the entire Microsoft Office suite makes Infiniti an appealing development platform for most any Microsoft partner.
Chelle Melbourne's heartiest advice to other Microsoft partners is to "reposition yourself as a process engineer," explaining that Intelledox Infiniti provides, "orchestration across all silos, joining them together, under control."
This allows partners who have previously only focused on their customers' infrastructure to expand into a far more valuable space that speaks directly to creating results. As Microsoft partners have gone to improve customer infrastructure in the past, and move it to the cloud most recently, their ability to provide effective and relevant solutions has been enabled by developing a deep understanding of how the customer does what they do. What are their business processes? How can they be better supported by information technologies?
Now, with Intelledox Infiniti, those partners can repurpose that knowledge. They can take the IP they've created in learning their customer's business processes and operations, and leverage it to deliver highly impactful process automation, forms creation and processing, reports and other documentation. Without a stitch of coding they can significantly accelerate customer processes to improve time-to-market, increase revenues and reduce operating costs.
Create Your Own IP To Sell
This is an example of a Microsoft partner who partners with Microsoft partners to deliver sustainable services and a business model that will withstand the erosion that many channel partner business models are experiencing.
Microsoft partners partnering with Intelledox can begin by referring the company to automate customer processes. With time, experience and training, many partners will want to begin implementing the automation themselves to enjoy more of the available new service revenues, and Intelledox provides excellent training to enable them to do so.
As the Intelledox approach shows, you don't have to fill your payroll with developers to evolve your Microsoft practice to sell your own IP.
More Columns by Howard M. Cohen:
Technologist, creator of compelling content, and senior "resultant" Howard M. Cohen has been in the information technology industry for more than four decades. He has held senior executive positions in many of the top channel partner organizations and he currently writes for and about IT and the IT channel.