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An increasing number of vendors are taking the decision to go ‘channel-first’ or put 100% of the business through partners as they look for growth.
In a world where solutions are vital the expertise and skills that partners can bring to bear as as attractive as the geographical coverage they can deliver for a vendor.
Quest Software is one of those that is increasingly looking to the channel as its route to market and the firm has been busy hiring executives with partner experience over the past few months. With that expertise on board the firm has taken the decision to make its Microsoft Platform Management business channel-first in the UK and Ireland.
The vendor is providing partners with some attractive benefits, with a potential 25% margin level on offer, as well as the chance to receive up to half of every sourced deal through discounts and rebates.
Marc Botham, general manager, Platform management, UK&I at Quest, said that it became clear to the company that the only way it could achieve its ambitions was by working more with partners.
“We don’t measure ourselves by quotas or market growth but by the market opportunity and the only way we could do that was via the channel,” he said
“It became blindingly obvious but it hadn’t been done and what we are now a lot of what we are doing in the UK is being trialled for the rest of the world,” he added.
Botham said that having made the decision to put the channel first it wanted to offer something different and had taken steps to ensure that the rebates and discounts were rewarding.
“It is a partnership in the truest form and we have changed the whole of the discount structure,” he added “If you are going to invest in Quest then we will protect those investments with a very high margin.”
Quest has been changing its proposition beyond just specialising in helping users with migrations and Botham said it was now offering management, security and data recovery features that created plenty of market opportunities for partners.
“We have a SaaS portfolio that is really relevant and we are painting a picture to partners that with a services wrap it will add three of four times the value,” he said.
Inevitably the rich margins and rebates on offer will attract some fresh channel blood to Quest and Botham is prepared to extend its market coverage. The firm works with around 40 managed partners in the UK and then hundreds more via distribution. That top tier is unlikely to expand but the expectation is that Tech Data and Sigma, the vendor’s distributors, will be bringing more on board.
“We are taking some chunks out of some rivals…we are aggressively taking more share and [the proposition] is highly relevant,” he said.
SecureAuth offers a second example of a vendor that has taken a look at the market and decided the channel is the best route to growth.
The firm announced yesterday that it was going for a 100% channel focus, was updating its programmes and had hired channel veteran David Woodward to take up the position of senior vice president of sales and channel worldwide.
The multi-factor authentication specialist is quite open about its 50% year-on-year growth target and views partners as the best way of getting there.
The commitment to the channel includes enhancing the support it provides to increase collaboration around go-to-market and by bringing Woodward on board.
"Organizations realize that in addition to preventing breaches, they must enable trust to meet usability and business agility needs – and they know that it starts with adaptive identity security. With the specialization of support and benefits for qualified partners, we’re presenting channel partners with an opportunity to leapfrog their competition by delivering the most secure and adaptable identity and access management solution in the market,” said Woodward.