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The example of iQuila shows need for more channel open mindedness

SDN specialist has found the channel lacking a sense of adventure when it comes to working with a fresh vendor

Technology is continually evolving, but the channel is at risk of missing out on some opportunities by sticking with existing vendors and turning away from fresh market players.

Software-defined networking (SDN) player iQuila has raised concerns that the channel is not being as open-minded as it should be about working with emerging vendors.

Resellers are under pressure to support a portfolio of vendors and often take their lead from distribution on which firms are going to make an impact, but there are dangers in that this strategy that could lead to missed opportunities.

Having embarked on a strategy of working with the channel, the firm is now switching to an alternative approach of forming vendor alliances to get its technology in the hands of resellers and in front of more customers.

iQuila CEO David Sweet has now opted to go down the vendor alliances route to support its growth ambitions after being left frustrated by the response of channel partners.

“Many just want to stick with the status quo, but in doing that, they’re not bringing new technology into their stack, and in turn, doing their customers a disservice. This is why we sought other routes to market," he said.

That other route to market has included signing up to Cradlepoint’s Technology Alliance Partner programme. As a result, iQuila’s virtual extended network (VEN) software will be integrated with Cradlepoint’s routers and it will get them out to market via its partner base.

“Cradlepoint customers are building networks that extend beyond the traditional enterprise or branch networks to environments that include mobile and IoT [internet of things]. Solutions such as iQuila will help our customers remain connected and secure as their workforces continue to evolve,” said John Nye, vice-president of technology partners and alliances at Cradlepoint.

The plan is to continue to extend similar alliances, and Ian Wiliams, head of partnerships at iQuila, indicated more were in the pipeline. At the same time, he underlined that the door was still open for channel partners to get involved with the vendor.

“Our technology works for everyone, from five users to 50,000 users and above, it’s completely scalable. For VARs, it’s an easy cloud deployment and it gives them a recurring revenue stream with great margins,” he said.

One of those channel partners that has signed up to work with iQuila is London-based VAR, Totality Services, which has been implementing the technology and sealing deals.

“I understand why some VARs are nervous – as trusted advisers, it’s up to us to deliver a reliable secure technology stack to customers. But at Totality, we also believe that means bringing the latest exciting technologies to market that we know will help our customers with cost savings, efficiencies, and security,” said Pedro Martins, co-founder and director at Totality.

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