Pega Partner Awards :: A missed opportunity to recognize the little guy

On January 10th, Pegasystems announced the winners of their first annual partner awards.

Here are the categories and recipients: 

  • Excellence in Enterprise Solutions – Accenture
  • Excellence in Customer Centricity – Capgemini
  • Excellence in Business Transformation – Cognizant
  • Excellence in Practice Development – Cognizant
  • Excellence in Solution Development – Infosys
  • Excellence for Country Reseller – Lanit
  • Excellence in Thought Leadership – Mahindra Satyam
  • Excellence in Market Development – Tata Consultancy Services
  • Excellence in Solution Delivery – Virtusa
via Pega

I only clicked through to the press release to see the types of businesses that won the awards and I was disappointed by what I found.  The winner circle is dominiated by the biggest players in the IT services area.  Lanit was the only business not immediately familiar.
I understand the tendency of all large businesses to focus on partners that ‘can move the needle’ – that are big enough to close business and bring customers that will move their quarterly earnings call.  
The award winners are certain able to deliver big clients but a vibrant partner ecosystem is more than the big fish.  It also needs to include the niche players, specialists and local heros.  I wish that some categories were chosen to recognize these types of the businesses as well.
Don’t believe me?  Look at this image from the pegasystem’s website:
Pega_partners
via Pega
Everyone who won an award is a Platinum Partner except Virtusa and Lanit and one of them is a Gold Partner.  Moreover, EVERY Platinum Partner except IBM won an award.
Really?  
The small partners are the ones that will deliver the smaller businesses and grow with them for you.  They are the ones that will take an untraditional view of your technology and open a new market.  They don’t have A-list clients so they might be that little bit more aggressive or flexible about winning a new deal.  Given all that, some smaller partners probably also deserve some recognition at your annual awards ceremony.

2 comments for “Pega Partner Awards :: A missed opportunity to recognize the little guy

  1. Scott Francis
    January 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Dave, I haven’t looked at previous award winners at Pega, or at other "vendor awards" but I’m guessing the same sort of thing happens. Probably a combination of sponsors + "good story to tell"… some selection bias as well (do the little guys submit for an award they probably don’t think they have a chance of winning anyway?)Completely agree with your last paragraph, except that, sometimes those small players DO have A-list customers, but the role of the small player isn’t to bring that customer to the table, it is to help make that customer successful once they’ve chosen their software (imho).

  2. Scott
    January 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Dave, the other things that come to mind: 1. what’s the difference between "solution development" and "solution delivery"? 2. the difference between market development and country reseller? Maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that the big IT outsourcing/offshoring shops are on here. They’re on Gartner’s quadrant for services providers (in all four quadrants) as recommended providers – regardless of how agile your process is, or how business focused it is. Everyone knows that that is a ridiculous position to take. The implication of course is that sponsor dollars buys directly or indirectly, recommendations. (i say indirectly because it likely isn’t as clear cut as buying the award or recommendation, but it does seem to be too high a correlation to ignore the link). I must have missed when Satyam became a thought leader in BPM. <insert joke about accounting thought leadership here>

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