James Thew - Fotolia
It has been almost a year since Equinix turned to the channel as a way of expanding its presence in the enterprise market, looking for partners to pitch its data centre and cloud expertise.
The report card on the first year is a positive one according to Eric Saillard, Equinix's Director of EMEA Channel, and the firm is well placed to develop its reseller offering.
“For Equinix launching a partner programme and being identified as ‘channel friendly’ was an absolute need.,” he added that it had always been very strong in the telco space and financial services but had relatively low penetration rates in the enterprise sector.
“It was clear to us that the way to get into the enterprise market was to work with those companies that already had high penetration with those users from the channel,” he added.
The decision to work with the channel first emerged publicly last April, with senior UK management expressing a desire to work with partners that could understand what the firm could offer and then could add their own services to create a solution to take to the market.
To support its indirect push the data centre player has recruited 100 staff to make sure it has the depth of support that partners would expect.
“It takes a huge investment to build a true fully channel organisation. In one year what we have already done is a huge achievement” said Saillard.
More than 60 partners have signed up across EMEA and the reaction from the channel has been positive with some commenting that the levels of support now being offered are what they were hoping would be delivered from a pro-channel organisation.
Traditional VARs, born-in-the-cloud players and alliance partners are the three main fronts Equinix is finding channel growth.
“We are building a strong channel machinery and building a strong ecosystem is not something that can be done in a year and you need two to three years,” said Saillard.
“You can’t be addressing everything in one go but we think that we have had the right sequence,” he added.
The next phase of the channel development will include providing greater help with enablement and rolling out certification programmes for partners.
“This is the next stage, making sure our partners clearly understand our services and value proposition and that will be a big challenge in 2016,” said Saillard.