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Open letter to our valued Sitecore Solution Partners

To our valued Sitecore Solution Partners,

This morning Sitecore announced its intent to acquire Hedgehog Development, a customer-focused digital consultancy that will bolster the people, technology, and services resources we can bring to bear to support our partner community. You can read the press release but I’d like to share with you my position and additional details on what this news means for you.

As many of you know, I’ve spent most of my career operating in the trenches to align the missions of software vendors and their solution partners. Unfortunately, the reality for many software vendors is their own profit motivations create a competitive and sometimes combative relationship between their consulting arm and the partners who are indispensable to the vendor’s growth and the success of its customers. But Sitecore is not like other vendors. Our success has been built with and through our dedicated partner ecosystem. Not competing with our partners is a core principle that we will not abandon.

The Sitecore Partner Relationship

Thinking about this acquisition and what it means to our relationship, I am reminded about what convinced me to leave a competitor to join Sitecore. Great technology aside, it was most definitely because Sitecore convinced me it held the sanctity of its Partner relationships as one of its core tenets. From the company’s inception, the passionate talent of our partners has played an integral role in guiding customers through their Sitecore journey and creating solutions to address their specific business requirements. The importance of our partners remains paramount within Sitecore, and virtually every component of our business strategy—and, frankly, the plan to which we are accountable to our owners—includes an element focused on partner support and enablement. This is why, when we decided it was the right time to expand our own services capabilities, we focused intently on how an acquisition would serve to strengthen our relationship and deliver even more value to our customers, faster and with less risk, not to compete with your service offerings.

How Success Will Be Built

I believe absolutely that the addition of Hedgehog will be a critical pillar to your success because it will support your delivery capabilities with complementary services that enable Sitecore to collaborate with you for the entire lifecycle of larger and more challenging projects. Specifically, Hedgehog will help us scale in key areas related to services, training, and support, and we will deploy this expanded capacity via Sitecore’s Professional Services organization to:

  • Extend our ability to support you with the elements needed to plan, design, and implement projects as well as accelerate upgrades and migrations.
  • Provide an extra layer of support to you during more complex implementations, particularly with less mature technologies and high-risk projects.
  • Enable you on newer Sitecore offerings such as Sitecore Experience Commerce™ and Sitecore Content Hub™ by mentoring and supporting you during early client projects in which you may not feel 100% confident.
  • Allow Sitecore to gain a better understanding and appreciation for the real-life challenges you face in the design, build, and deployment of solutions, which will help us build better products.
  • Parlay real-world learnings into more useful documentation, training, and documented best practices to make you more efficient and mitigate risk on future projects.
  • Expand your connections to Sitecore’s product management and engineering teams, giving you a stronger voice in our business and strategy as well as the ability to quickly overcome any product-related challenges (yes, every software company has some of these).
  • Last, but not least, give Sitecore the ability to better respond to our customer’s explicit requests that we share accountability with you to deliver the value promised in our joint selling process.

Keeping The Lines Of Communication Open

Nonetheless, I know some among you may interpret this acquisition as the first step toward a more competitive relationship. If you are skeptical, or if ever you feel Sitecore is impeding on your own service offerings, failing to provide you the proper support, or not fully respecting your position within your client’s account, I encourage you to contact me directly. I would love to speak with you. After all, we are 100-percent committed to the belief that software vendors and their solution partners must collaborate. The first step is communicating openly and holding each other accountable for the success of our shared customers/clients who are paying the bills.

To close, please join me in welcoming the Hedgehog team into the Sitecore family. I look forward to the opportunity before us and thank you for your continued partnership and support of our mutual goal to deliver the best possible experience for customers.

Bill McCulloch
Vice President, Partners & Alliances
Sitecore