The Domino Consulting Life: Howdy, Pahdner�Becoming a Lotus Business PartnerThis is the final installment of our three-part series on establishing and sustaining an independent Domino consulting practice. Following, we'll look how to become an official Lotus Business Partner.
You've been consulting for a while now, and you want to take your solo Domino practice to the next level. It may be time for you to consider becoming an official Lotus Business Partner.
"There are certain clients that you won't get if you're not a Business Partner," says Jon Stuart, author of "Lotus Domino for Dummies" (IDG Books, 1997) and an independent Domino consultant based in Boston (www.mindcom.com). "It gives you a cache, and you can get bigger leads."
You also get a jump-start on the latest news and products from Lotus, giving you an edge in the marketplace. Advanced Lotus Business Partners receive such perks as all the new software on CD, monthly reports on current trends, news and reviews on what consulting firms are doing with Lotus technology, marketing collateral, lead generation and monthly satellite TV broadcasts, dubbed LotusVision, that feature product-manager interviews on new products and solutions.
Three levels of membership are available Member, Advanced and Premiere, with escalating benefits. To qualify for the Advanced level, you must have at least one current Certified Lotus Professional on staff, Stuart says; and if you're a sole proprietor that means you must have up-to- date certification.
The benefits are not as great for solo fliers as they are for small consultancies with at least several staff members, but it's still worth the $1,295 annual fee to become an Advanced partner, Stuart says: "I have much greater access to information than I would if I were not a Lotus Business Partner."
For the official lowdown on becoming a Lotus Business Partner, check out the Lotus Business Partner Web page. Click on "Become a Business Partner!" for details on how to become one, benefits, costs, contact numbers, an application request form and the requisite "success stories."
Leslie Goff is a contributing editor based in New York.