Relayware? Right there! your next Partner Management solution! Funny name, great software.
September 29, 2016

Relayware? Right there! your next Partner Management solution! Funny name, great software.

Rob Dautel | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Zift Solutions Through Partner Marketing Automation (TPMA)

While Relayware is typically used as a sales channel partner tool, it can also be used for non-sales partner management and works extremely well for both. My organization is currently using Relayware's many features to manage our partner program which includes technology design partners, software vendors, training partners, and more. These partners are not direct revenue generating partners, but they are tied to lead management via Relayware to an SFDC instance.

Relayware is used globally across various [locations] and does a fantastic job with language support. It is one of the few SaaS tools I've seen that not only allows for language templates, but also for alternate words based on context. For example, depending on how you count or use some numbers in Japanese, the word changes, and Relayware allows for these translations in context to be easily added.

Relayware solves a number of problems for us including: monitoring and managing partners globally, providing information to partners at different levels of program status, and in different regions of the world. Relayware supports customizable workflows that allow for different approval processes for export control, approvals, etc. Relayware also allows for partner collaboration, internal forums, file sharing, social media and email communications, and a full audit path for anything done inside the tool.

  • Partner tracking and communication - Relayware allows a holistic view of a partner. Since the tool tracks everything a user does, you can easily see when the partner has sent or received emails, participated in trainings, download files, etc. You can also see how and when back-office users such as admins, partner managers, etc. have communicated with partners, updated dashboards, downloaded reports, and much more. The granularity of the history and tracking is exception for seeing how you and a partner are engaging. It's also very helpful for companies who require an audit trail for activities.
  • Training/eLearning/onboarding - I've worked with a number of eLearning/LMS platforms over the years and I'm stunned by the learning system built into Relayware. It's hands down far and above many existing standalone products and if Relayware was smart, they would offer this as a standalone item. The system supports the typical eLearning/LMS basics- SCORM support, grading, training by module, etc. but it also allows for custom training paths based on learning modules which can be SCORM, video, HTML, files, and any combination of these. The grading system is separated from the training content which allows for highly flexible user cases. You can created quizzes, tests, and certifications based on individual content modules or a full learning path.
  • Since the LMS is part of the overall Relayware system which is intended for partner management, you can create a range of onboarding processes/paths which are customized to particular types of partners. The system can support both online and offline activities so you can require xxx to be done online, followed by in-person training, etc. It really is an impressive system. I liked it so much, I decomissioned my instance of a Moodle LMS and I now use the Relayware LMS to serve as both partner eLearning and general customer eLearning through a separate portal.
  • Flexibility - It's hard to believe the Relayware can do so much in a single SaaS. The system allows for connection to SFDC so working leads and opportunities is simple. A manager or admin can add, edit, and remove web pages with ease. Data can be placed on any webpage using a number of "Relayware tags" which are special HTML tags to pull data from the system and use on a page. Customizable workflows for most any part of the system can be handled via a workflow engine. This could be onboarding, partner signup and registration, lead/deal/opportunity management and routing to appropriate users, Legal and Export compliance checking of documents and files, and on and on.
  • The only real drawback is that the system is so flexible, it helps to have good training and support so you don't get lost. Luckily this is only an issue for those who administer the system and Relayware is keen to provide good support for their product.
  • Licensing & cost - My observation is that Relayware has several good options for licensing and overall cost. They break the system down into several key modules so if you don't need something, you can remove it and not pay for it. However, that also makes it easy for the product to grow as your needs do. One of their license modules is by back-office users, not front-office. The benefit of this is when coupled with SFDC, you only need a single SFDC license for all of your field personnel and front end users. Since one of the Relayware models is to not charge by the number of front end users, you can save thousands in SFDC licenses. Ie: A user works through Relayware to report/edit/manage leads, deals, and opportunities. The system uses a single SFDC license to connect to SFDC so rather than every front end user needing an SFDC license, you only need one. Depending on the size of your organization, this alone could easily pay for the Relayware system.
  • Pro Services - Relayware is a growing company. In the past they have had a negative attitude about customers wanting Pro Services to customize, enhance, or add on to their instance. They will do it, but sometimes it was a difficult path. The company preferred to use Pro Services for new customer configuration vs. building onto existing instances.
  • HOWEVER, in mid 2016 Relayware gained a new CEO so I am hopeful this is something we see change as the company grows and I believe it will. I am also hopeful that the company begins to branch out and enable 3rd party companies to offer design and support services which may not be key to Relayware's business model.
  • File sharing - The system is good for sharing files out from a manager or administrator to partners, but is not very robust in allowing partners and others to share files back or bi-directionally with one another. This is fine is your communication model is Info Out. However, if you have a partner model or use case that requires partners to share information and files back with a manager, program administration, or team leader, the process becomes much more difficult.
  • I should note, this is for sharing of files and documents. For lead/deal/opportunity management, the system works extremely well in a bi-directional manner as you would expect with such a system.
  • Growing pains - Like any growing company Relayware sees it's share of growing pains. They have a great product, but are working hard to keep up with staffing and resources. This sometimes leads to pain points with some company members having very deep knowledge while others are on a steep learning curve. The product is also continuously growing with new features which makes training and knowledge materials difficult to come by. Much of the publically available information is limited or simplistic and there is no formal customer/user training program today. (although they are happy to tailor something for you.)
  • Positive impact in monitoring and tracking partners globally. This has aided to reduce duplication of efforts and redundant communications as well as discover where some partners are more engaged in a given region and/or technology.
  • Positive impact in communication with partners. No longer are communications stuck in someone desktop email. The partner managers can find communications at a glance and get meaningful status on activities and issues regardless of who the partner is and who or where they are working with company members.
  • Positive impact in training and oboarding. We are now using the product to onboard not only technology partners, but channel partners, reps, distributors, and our own team members. Customized learning paths suitable for different types of users provide knowledge checks, tests, and certifications based on the same core materials presented and used in different ways. The build in eLearning system has allowed us to shut down our separate LMS system which saved considerables funds by using that functionality in a system we already have.
  • SFDC - What can be said, SFDC is an industry leader in so many ways and it's add-on and plug-ins can connect to most anything. Even though my company uses SFDC, the biggest reasons were a) cost of adding users to the front end, and b) flexibility without jumping head first into SFDC itself. Having Relayware as a second system allows for more localized and less IT level management, while still delivering all the benefits of connecting to an SFDC instance.
  • channelSUITE - Seems like a decent overall package, but far fewer features than Relayware and more suited for channel and sales generating partners. Ie: less flexible and not suitable for the needs I had working with non-revenue and indirect revenue generating partners.
  • NetSuite PRM - this PRM had a larger price tag for less options when I looked into it. NetSuite's ability to bundle into its CRM is nice, but I had also had very poor support from NetSuite in other products such as their eCommerce products so in the end, I still feel Relayware is a top bang the buck despite the growing pains I mentioned earlier.
  • Channeltivity - This is a product I started using before switching to Relayware. I like Channeltivity for it's simple, but powerful file sharing, and easy to use back-end. Channeltivity's support is also very nice. However, there are definite limitations to Channeltivity if you have a larger program. The good news is both Relayware and Channeltivity work well together as competitors and cross reccomend each others products should one see a user's needs to beyond or below what their products offer. It's nice to see this kind of Synergy among competing companies.
Overall Relayware is a great product. It's many features in a single package lend itself well for working with partners be that channel partners, direct sales, VARs, indirect sales, or most any other type of partner. With the flexible construction and licensing you can activate the parts of Relayware you want and then easily grow the functionality as your partner management needs grow. This is a very nice solution versus adding additional SaaS systems and spending considerables hours building API connectors. That said, Relayware does have a robust API should you need to connect to other systems. There is native support for SSO connectivity, SFDC ( and a handful of other third party products.

Where you might not want to use Relayware is if it's too big for your organization, so like any SaaS, do your research, talk to Relayware, and evaluate the product. The many features and ability to handle lots of partners definitely adds complexity and comes with a decent, but fair, price tag. So, if you're a small organization just starting out with a few partners, or you have very simple partner management needs, Relayware might not be for you. Then again, it may, since I've found it easy to use several of the product's features beyond just working with partners. So again, evaluate, and draw your own conclusions.