Elite launches new partner program to enable direct customer implementation services

Elite today (6 March) launched a ‘premier delivery’ partner program, which will enable its customers to work directly with service partners on end-to-end implementations of Elite’s 3E cloud solution. The first two service partners in the program are Harbor (which now includes Pinnacle) and Helm360.

The new program was unveiled at Elite’s VANTAGE London Conference. In the past, customers of Elite would be obliged to sign a statement of work with them, but under the new arrangement, where a law firm is, for example, undertaking a transformation program with Harbor, they will be able to do the whole thing on Harbor’s statement of work.

Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Martin Linusson, chief customer officer of Elite, said: “To date everything has been about blending partners into our teams, but we are trying to change that model to enable them to do the entire project by themselves and motivate them to work with the customer directly.”

Linusson said that the current model has caused confusion and required multiple resources on a single engagement, saying: “In the past we have wanted to control our partners and have them on our paper, but we want to enable them to do the work with support from us. We have built a governance program, because at the end of the day if something goes wrong with delivery it’s our brand and our product, so we are still going to provide oversight and aren’t simply handing it over and walking away, but it’s about providing choice.”

Linusson says that there are already five to 10 engagements close to signing where the partner is doing the work directly with the customer. “We have had really good momentum,” he says. “That’s because the partners we have picked have been so engrained with us and have the right skillsets and knowledge, for one thing.” The program will not be limited to Harbor and Helm360 and Linusson says: “That’s the starting point, because we want to make sure we don’t make any mistakes and have the right governance and access in place.”

This announcement follows two redundancy rounds that impacted a significant number of services personnel at Elite, amounting in total to around 30% of staff.

Linusson stressed that Elite is not moving out of services completely. “No matter how well our partners are working we will always need to optimise our implementation process to speed up the time to live,” he said.