Practically, this means that Crowd Favorite will contribute developers and other resources to help iThemes better structure and market their products beyond a consumer audience. iThemes will in turn list the enterprise versions of these products within their product pages, as well as work with Crowd Favorite to create enterprise-focused features for their core product base.
The products that are a focus of this collaboration are iThemes Sync, Exchange, Security, and BackupBuddy.
The announcement post calls it more than a distribution partnership, but a joint venture:
The joint venture will be establishing an advisory board that will hold key executives from both companies consisting of myself, Cory Miller, Chris Lema, Matt Danner and Alex King. The goal will be to develop product roadmaps for our target market.
The result of this partnership is even greater alignment fueled by the African proverb widely quoted by both Miller and Lema – “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
The “enterprise” market is an interesting thing in WordPress. There are companies and people working to make more enterprise-level WordPress products, but it’s still a product market that is in limbo. It’s so much more common to cater to a consumer audience with different needs and desires; different products that cater to the enterprise and corporate audience leaves room for a lot of experimentation.
Also noted in the blog post, Crowd Favorite CEO Karim Marucchi highlights three ways to enter a product space: product acquisition, talent acquisition, and — the route they are taking with this move — partnership.
I don’t know yet what pricing will look like for this deal, nor do I know exactly what the profit sharing breakdown is. I do know that both iThemes and Crowd Favorite leadership saw it as a no-brainer; and this is also one of the first strategic product moves lead by incoming Crowd Favorite CTO Chris Lema.
Crowd Favorite hopes to market the enterprise-portion of iThemes’ product suite to corporations, as well as other high-end WordPress and web development agencies. They’re already a bit of a trend-setter in that world — I believe — with their comparatively high-priced RAMP content deployment product. I’ve always been a fan of that product, which has a very specific task that’s pretty high value, and they charge for it appropriately.
I see this venture with iThemes as different route for getting access to more products with that goal in mind, and it seems like a win-win from my point of view. I certainly don’t think this is the last such partnership we’ll see, but rather a sign of things to come.