A partnership is like a beautiful plant. First, you have to choose the seed, plant it, and water it to make it grow and give its best.

As the publisher of iTop software, Combodo is convinced of the importance of partnerships in delivering an optimal customer experience. So we’ve decided to lift the hood and tell you all about our partnership strategy.

A Combodo partner

But first, what is a Combodo partner?

The word partner can have many different interpretations. At Combodo, here’s what it means to us:

A partner is a company that integrates our iTop solution, often a service provider specializing in IT services management (ITSM) or infrastructure. They resell, install and configure iTop at end-customer sites, and act as the customer’s main point of contact.

In concrete terms, partners are close to customers, while we remain present in the “backoffice”, bringing our solution expertise to bear through our editor support.

Partner network organization

With 13 partners in 6 countries today, Combodo’s partnership network has moved into a  growth phase with a model that has been tried and tested over 10 years, since our first partnership began (Itomig GmbH in Germany).

We segmented the network according to the size of the customer’s company, to ensure a close fit with the market. The aim is to provide comprehensive solutions that are tailored to the specific needs of each customer. The synergy created by working hand in hand enables us to carry out these projects at a detailed level.

From major accounts to mid-sized and small businesses, each company has its own organizational specifics and individual needs. Working with our partners, we can pool our expertise and provide both partners and end-customers with tailor-made, local services. For example, we work jointly with our partners in a number of French government ministries. As a software publisher, we stay in touch so we can understand the customer’s needs and recommend best practices for using iTop, while our partners carry out any enhancement requests required by the customer. This organization enables us to be proactive.

A win-win strategy

Entretenir le partenariat

In a highly competitive market with well-established players, iTop stands out as a highly customizable, open-source alternative solution. Thanks to our collaboration with partners, we have been able to expand our presence in the ITSM market, to reach a wide range of customer profiles.

Maintaining partnerships

But in concrete terms, how does the relationship with our partners work?
Maintaining partnerships is like any other kind of relationship.

A relationship has to be based on trust, support and cooperation.

And as with any relationship, there can be ups and downs, difficult times to get through, but also moments of joy to share.

As our partners are companies with different business models to our own, we have different objectives and approaches. When we set up an indirect sales network, it’s essential to learn how to pass iTop knowledge and contact on to our partners, as well as our expertise. Our partners can then pass this knowledge on to their customers. To grow the network, we obviously need to recruit new partners. A new partner is a bit like meeting someone for the first time: you need to establish mutual trust and understanding before going any further.

A question of chemistry?

So how do we know if a company is a match for ours?

We rely on key indicators such as:

Company compatibility

This includes geographical area, current customer typology, how we market our respective product ranges, type of sales cycle, and so on. This ensures that our objectives are heading in the same direction, and that the transition phase will be smooth.


This refers to the partner’s functional and technical knowledge. This criterion is essential to ensure that the partner will fully understand our solution and be able to deploy it in the best possible way with future customers.


The partner must be genuinely committed to promoting our offering in its market, and to maintaining that commitment over the long term, since forming a new partnership requires time and effort on the part of everyone involved.

Once these points have been confirmed, we move from the “friend-zone” to a partnership relationship, and recruitment can take place. From that point on, it is vital to keep the lines of communication open with the new partner at all times,, listening carefully so as to understand their needs and help them achieve our common goals.

A growing family

Today, on the strength of our successful experience to date, we are preparing to welcome new partners to our network. Our aim remains unchanged: to continue creating solid, lasting partnerships, where trust and communication are the fundamental pillars. By establishing close relationships with our partners, we aim to build a thriving ecosystem where everyone can flourish and grow together.

We are looking to the future with enthusiasm, convinced that this approach will enable us to maintain the highest levels of end-customer satisfaction. Our partners will be our allies in the pursuit of excellence, and together we will continue to push the boundaries to deliver the best customer experience.

In conclusion, the success of our partner network relies on the careful selection of compatible partners, open and sincere communication, and a commitment to delivering superior solutions. Thanks to our community-focused approach, we are confident that our partner network will continue to thrive and strengthen our market position.

If you can relate to this article and would like to join the adventure, please contact Martin de Laval, Head of Partnerships: martin.delaval@combodo.com

We hope to hear from you soon!

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