Becoming a Valo Partner may be the best business decision you’ll ever make. Not only are our award-winning portfolio of digital workplace tools, built on SharePoint and Microsoft 365, second to none. But, our unique, transparent one-time licensing model teamed with our Fresh Subscription have been recognized within the industry as best in class. In fact, in December 2019 we won Best Intranet/Extranet at ESPC Awards 2019, adding to our existing portfolio of awards.
But don’t just take our word for it. We have heaps of customers regularly sharing their Valo success stories with us. And when you read on, you’ll discover first-hand what our existing Microsoft partners love about our partnership.
In this first blog post, in a series dedicated to uncovering the power of the Valo Partnership, we’ll take a look at the special partnerships that have shaped the world. Plus, we’ll uncover the many benefits of becoming a Valo Partner. And reveal why, once you join our Partner Network, you’ll never look back.
Famous partnerships that shaped the world
When John Lennon and Paul McCartney started writing songs together back in the late 1950s, they had no idea how far their partnership would take them. The dynamic and creative connection between the duo was the driving force behind the Beatles, one of the most celebrated bands of all time.
Their hugely successful partnership and radical musical style not only changed popular music, it helped shape the modern world.
Half a century before, the Wright Brothers, Wilbur and Orville, made their mark by developing the three-axis controls that made flying a fixed-wing aircraft possible.
Their invention in 1903 not only made airplanes a part of industry and trade but also opened the world to a type of travel people had only ever dreamed of.
By the end of the same millennium, students Sergey Brin and Larry Page kick-started a new revolutionary partnership. By founding Google in a garage in Menlo Park, California in 1998 they’d go on to fundamentally alter the way we access information, forever.
The key to successful partnerships
Each of these partnerships changed the world in some dramatic way – whether culturally, physically or socially. The key to why and how they succeeded was through collaboration – the coming together of two individuals with a shared mindset.
So, if individuals can do this, why not organizations? Just as the power of change came through Lennon and McCartney joining creative forces, businesses too can benefit each other and thrive through collaboration and co-operation.
Partnerships in a tech world
In fact, Bill Gates attributes Microsoft’s early success to its strategic partnership with IBM. Gates says one of the earliest high-impact decisions he made was figuring out how to work with IBM.
It was this partnership that ultimately enabled Microsoft to move into the next generation of personal computing. In creating ‘Big Blue’ Microsoft developed an operating system that it was able to market as a separate product.
Subsequently, Microsoft’s third CEO Satya Nadella, continues to build on the power of strategic partnerships. In April 2018 he told McKinsey’s Simon London that partnerships should reinforce a business’s core identity.
Somebody once said that you can only trust people who think, say and do the same thing. By the same token, you can only trust companies that are thinking, saying, and doing the same thing. That’s the consistency you need.
To us, the Valo Partner network is front and center
For Valo, our partnership model is central to our whole ethos. Valo Partners are our lifeline to the end-user; the customer who buys and uses Valo’s products to enhance their digital workplace.
There is no direct sell.
From day one, Valo Intranet, built on SharePoint and Microsoft 365, is a product that has been operating exclusively through our Valo Partner network.
Having partners involved is not an afterthought. It’s not a second option. It’s the only way to get our product delivered and sold in the market.
Therefore, our aim is to build strategic, long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with Microsoft partners who share our core values.
100% Partner approach
Unlike competing intranet providers, Valo will never sell directly to the end customer. We will always rely on getting our products to market via our partner network.
This means we are 100 percent partner focused in everything we do. And we will never compete with our partners.
We exclusively build through partners. Whatever we design and develop as part of the Valo product road-map, we’ll always take the extension and customization story into account.
Consequently, our partners are always able to say yes to their customers when they ask for something more.
A foot in the door with customers
In fact, although Valo is an out-of-the-box solution built on top of SharePoint – it still needs to be installed and customized by a Microsoft professional.
This means our partners can offer additional services on top of the initial Valo installation such as:
- Intranet consulting: business case creation, top tasks analysis, intranet maturity assessment and defining the intranet road-map
- Project services: such as content migration and site modernization
- Valo feature pack: installing a set of extra Valo features (web parts and other functional parts)
Customizations: using Valo Extensibility Framework
- Content services: content engagement strategy, content planning, and creation
- Governance & user adoption: establishing who should see what, on which channel – granting permissions to management/workers
- Support services: upgrade services and support ticket logging
Often, for many of our partners, a basic Valo installation makes up just 35 percent of their total revenue and as little as 20 percent in more complex installations.
This means partners are free to bill 65 to 80 percent on top of a Valo installation for support, maintenance and designing digital work – such as setting up user data management, task management, Power Apps and CDM.
Valo partnership makes business sense
For Portiva, Valo’s Premium Partner from the Netherlands, being a Valo Partner has led to growth in their business.
We have been in a relationship with Valo for over 12 months and we’ve seen tremendous growth in revenue.
Valo’s North America Partner of the Year Award Winner 2019, Red Level, also says that partnering with Valo has made business sense.
Valo is a great cultural fit for Red Level. They have a lot of the same values that we have – unquestionable fairness – ensuring we are always doing what’s right for the customer. But also, what’s right for our business – because if we’re not doing it right for our business, we wouldn’t be in business.
US-based entrepreneur Ilya Lehrman, who set up his company Intranet Valet around Valo, also says Valo has helped to take his business to another level. He says he has no regrets about partnering with us.
You’ve allowed me to expand my business and give birth to a great growth opportunity.
Transparent license agreement
We know that one of the main reasons our partners love Valo products so much is because of the one-off license fee.
This makes us pretty unique in the SharePoint intranet-in-a-box market. So much so that for the last two years in a row Valo has been named as ‘Best Value’ for money in the annual ClearBox SharePoint intranets in-a-box report.
For Valo Premium Partner Matt Fishman, from Klarinet Solutions in the US, Valo’s license is a very attractive proposition for his customers.
Valo has a lot of functionality for the value. It’s not overly priced. It’s not too expensive for what you’re actually buying. Ultimately for our customer it has a long-term strategy to it because it natively integrates with SharePoint.
Valo Fresh subscription
On top of the perpetual license, we also offer our end customers a software subscription, called the ‘Fresh subscription’.
This costs 25 percent of the initial license fee each year and gives the customer peace of mind that their intranet will continue working with no unexpected costs.
This software assurance not only keeps pace with Microsoft’s road-map, it incorporates the constant iterations and improvements being rolled out by Valo’s development team.
A reason to stay in contact with the customer
The Fresh subscription also gives partners another reason to go back to their customers on a quarterly basis.
Klarinet Solutions find these update meetings a great touch-point, and an opportunity to talk about the Valo road-map.
Valo Fresh is something we have to install every quarter. What’s nice about it is we can stay engaged with our customers, maybe adding on a component that they didn’t purchase in the initial phases. Or an opportunity from the services side to re-engage and build something out such as process automation.
Jack LaPan agrees and says the Fresh subscription has enabled his team to stay in touch with customers who they’ve traditionally not been able to engage with.
He uses the quarterly meetings to help his customers continually evolve their intranet. As static intranets have become a relic of the past, LaPan says customers need to keep them relevant, and think of new ways to use them for employee engagement.
Because of the Valo Fresh services, we’re able to help our customers not only keep their sites updated but talk to them about new ways or other ways of engaging their employees.
The expertise of 11 Microsoft MVPs
Perhaps most importantly, in an era of iteration, Valo helps partners keep pace with the world of constant change.
We have 11 Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) in our team who passionately share their knowledge within our partner community.
The MVPs are always on the ‘bleeding edge’ and have an unstoppable urge to get their hands on new, exciting technologies.
One of our latest recruits, Vardhaman Deshpande, Software Architect based in the UK explains why he joined our team:
Valo is well known throughout the Microsoft 365/Azure community and when I got the chance to work with them, I did not have to think twice! I have already begun imagining how the next generation of Valo products will leverage Microsoft’s innovations and deliver great value to its customers.
Employing this number of MVPs is unique in this industry and is another one of the main attractions of partnering with Valo.
Valo has the people to continue innovating and improving the product and facilitating the digital transformation.
Customer satisfaction every time
Because Valo’s products are built by Microsoft experts, on top of SharePoint and Microsoft 365, they have been designed to be simple, and easy to install.
Our partners love how there is no coding to do during a Valo delivery. This means installations are faster and more straightforward than other intranet products on the market.
This enables our partners to help their customer’s project manager meet their goals. This means projects will run successfully without any surprises in terms of schedule, budget, quality or scope.
Our goal it to help partners make their customer’s project manager shine within their organization.
As a result, customer satisfaction is higher with Valo than traditional intranet projects because technically it really works as expected.
Valo has helped us transform our business and productize our services offering. It enabled us to have a repeatable process around building an intranet. And it accelerates the engagement with the customers. In the end, we have happier customers because we have successful implementations.
Tom Laureys – Solution Manager/Team Coach Digital Transformation, at Amplexor based in Luxemburg agrees. He says Valo has brought a refreshed look and feel to their digital workplace and intranet portfolio.
The fact that’s a clear and easy to understand offering makes it not only a great door opener to new customers, but also the perfect match to strengthen long-term customer relationships.
Enhancing your marketing effort
Valo is always on the road, sponsoring events and sharing the Valo ethos. We are constantly promoting both the Valo brand and our partner network.
By joining the Valo partner network, your business will gain visibility in both digital and traditional channels, in marketing campaigns and co-sponsored online events.
The Valo partner program is really unique in the industry. The way Valo treats the partner network is really unmatched in our business – that’s in the form of co-operative marketing, marketing matching dollars, joint events, all those things. Valo has helped us transform our business and productize our services offering.
When asked why Amplexor partnered with Valo they said it was because of our close partnership and constant collaboration.
From consultants, managers or directors, the Valo team is always available for questions and support.
Valo has always recognized the power of partnerships. We know that great businesses are founded on great partnerships.
As Bill Gates recently said:
“Partnerships really are so understated in terms of their key role. Take care of partners and they will take care of you.”
That’s what Valo is all about.
We’d love you to join our awesome Partner Network and grow with us! Still need convincing?
Find out more about becoming a Valo Partner. Watch MVP Vlad Catrinescu and Valo’s Head of North America Juha Koivula explain more of the benefits of partnering with Valo.
Join our awesome Valo Partner Network and grow with us!