Friend Allies with Cottonwood Software
Friend Communications and Cottonwood Software LLC are bringing the concept of “coopitition” to the front office operations of the nation’s campgrounds.
The two competing software providers have entered into a strategic alliance to sell each other’s products and services – Hercules from Friend and Campground Master from Cottonwood Software.
“After years of working together, we are taking the relationship to the next level by creating this strategic alliance,” said Gary Pace, Friend president and CEO. “This enhanced relationship will enable us to build a tighter integration with Campground Master. It will also allow us to offer an even more extensive list of software options to our parks and campgrounds, complementing our new world class Web-based front office property management system, Hercules, and integrating with the ReservationFriend online booking engine and the growing network of Web portals.”
The concept, dubbed “coopitition,” has proven successful in the auto and fast-food industries, Pace said in an interview with Woodall’s Campground Management. Each industry elected to locate a number of competitors in one central area, such as an auto mall or a food court, and realized it ultimately drew more customers to the centralized location, Pace explained.
“We are trying to work more as representatives of each other. We are creating an environment for our people to sell Campground Manager as one of our solutions and for them to sell Hercules as their solution. The sales people start to become more like consultants.”
“It’s a tough concept for this industry but we intend to experiment with it and see how it plays out,” Pace said.
With the partnership, Cottonwood Software will benefit from Friend’s marketing efforts. The Friend sales people will add Campground Master to their portfolio of front office and property management products for RV parks and campgrounds. “Campground Master customers will not notice a change in the software or support, but they will receive enhanced benefits from the Friend online booking engine, as well as increased exposure on Camping.com and the Friend network,” Pace said.
“We are excited about this alliance. After working together for several years, this is just a natural progression in our relationship and we are pleased with what it can offer our customers,” said Stan Spielbusch, president and CEO of Cottonwood Software. Being able to integrate with Friend’s online booking engine is a valuable asset to any park or campground. This enhanced partnership will ensure that integration remains strong and continues to progress technologically.”
Friend has been working to create strategic relationships with industry leaders such as Campground Master to give customers more choices. Customers can get Friend products and support whether they choose locally installed software such as Campground Master or the Hercules hotel-type web-based software, fitting any situation from small, family-run parks to large, multi-property parks and everything in between.