Eastman refines federal sales channels strategy

Eastman Software has launched a new federal business strategy designed to expand the reach of its small federal sales force by teaming with more integrators and resellers to market their imaging workflow and document management products.

In an interview at the FedNet/Fed Imaging trade show in Washington D.C. earlier this month Jane Forman recently appointed vice president and general manager of the company's federal division said corporate partners would provide "virtual feet" to augment Eastman Software's direct sales efforts.

"I only have seven reps and a big market out there " Forman said. Eastman Software formed when Eastman Kodak Co. purchased Wang Laboratories' software business has eliminated its three federal field sales positions in the past year although David Lipstein the federal director of market development said those positions may be added back if warranted.

Document Movement

The company's software is designed to automate the movement of documents through organizations. Forman said the company plans to target all major federal agencies that have "mission-critical applications that are process-oriented."

"They are really rebuilding their whole sales channel and it is their weakest area " said Connie Moore vice president with Giga Information Group. In general she said the company has relied too heavily on integrators and other channel partners but in the federal market "you can really get some leverage" with such partnership arrangements. "They view themselves as a technology provider " Moore said.

"It makes sense for them to be partnering with someone" that offers business-area expertise. Nathaniel Palmer senior consultant with Delphi Consulting Group said most workflow and document management vendors are relying less on partnerships and turning to direct sales because they have found that integrators focused more on providing services than selling commercial off-the-shelf software.

But he said the federal market may be different because agencies are demanding more COTS products. Forman said the sales strategy will consist of agreements with large and small integrators and in order to market Eastman's new products based on Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange groupware technology deals with Microsoft solutions providers. She said the list of partners is still being developed but the company is about two months away from reaching agreements with current partners KPMG Peat Marwick and Science Applications International Corp.

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