Since launching its global partner programme six months ago, Versa Networks has focused its efforts on recruiting more resellers.
Back in January, the firm rolled out a more formal channel approach that included higher levels of reward and support for those that wanted to specialise in secure access service edge (SASE) and software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN). Its ACE (Accelerate, Captivate, Engage) programme was set up with the aim of rewarding those in the channel that gained certifications around its key technologies.
Half a year on, John Atchison, head of global channel marketing at Versa Networks, provided an update on the partner programme’s progress. “It’s been a really good six months for us, with the demand for SASE solutions,” he said. “Service growth continues to grow for us and a lot of the effort that I’ve been involved with, with our partners globally, is on partner recruitment and partner enablement.
“How do we drive demand together? My time has been involved with that, and we continue to invest in the channel globally. We’ve actually hired quite a number of people in Asia Pacific and we continue to do that in Europe as well.”
From the outset, Atchison wanted to use the programme to reward existing partners but also as a vehicle to attract fresh talent and get a variety of channel players signed up.
“Our main focus, when we rolled out the channel programme, was we wanted to position new partners to join our programme,” he said. “My focus globally is going out there and tapping into the new managed service providers [MSPs] and the service providers, or VARs for example, which will be going through distribution. Our focus is recruiting new partners that are going to be highly engaged and active with Versa.”
Versa’s efforts to grow its partner base come at a time when demand for SASE and SD-WAN has been rising and customers are reviewing their IT strategies as they look to exit the pandemic.
“If you talk to partners out there, what they’re seeing is that many businesses are grappling with challenges of security,” said Atchison. “That’s one of the areas that many companies are trying to figure out. How do they keep employees secure and another challenge that companies are grappling with is how to safeguard again. How do you connect and safeguard that distributed workforce or how do you segment sensitive data?”
Atchison said there was momentum in the market and there were opportunities for those partners that had signed up and continued to work with the firm.
“This will continue – it’s not going to go anywhere and I think that’s going to require companies to really address the concerns about security and application performance, and ensuring that as an IT person, you have the tools to be able to segment data,” he said.
“If you talk to MSPs, or other partner types, what they’re seeing is a huge number of folks and from what I understand it’s even as high as 90% of those partners that are saying that being able to provide companies with remote services is an area of growth for them.”