Vartopia LLC, a Jackson, Wyo.-based startup company that promises to ease the pain for channel partners registering for deals with vendors, this week released Version 4 of its Deal Registration Network platform.
The Deal Registration Network, which was first introduced in 2011, provides a "single pane of glass" for submitting, managing and measuring deal registration requests with a number of big vendors, including Citrix Systems Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Dell Inc., EMC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Microsoft, NetApp Inc., Symantec Corp. and VMware Inc. Vartopia CEO Michael Reilly, whose background includes time spent at resellers as well as in a senior channel role at VMware, said the tool is integrated into vendor systems on the back end. "It's sort of like Orbitz or Expedia in the travel industry. They don't replace Delta Airlines' ticketing systems; they're just giving you a single interface to be able to book a flight," Reilly said.
With the Reporting and Analytics platform, we help [VARs] understand that there actually is a big problem [in their deal registration processes]. Said differently, it's a huge opportunity for them.
Michael Reilly, CEO, Vartopia
Reilly said there are four main gaps in resellers' deal registration processes that the Deal Registration Network provides visibility into: deals that should have been registered but never were; deals for which registration is requested but the vendor doesn't take action on it, or doesn't approve nor deny it, but rather requests further information; deal registrations that are approaching an expiration date; and approved deals that need specific information entered into a purchase order to ensure the benefit of the registration is realized.
According to Reilly, during his tenure at VMware in the 2008-2009 time frame, about 30% of deals qualified for registration, but were never registered -- a figure he saw at VMware and learned of via informal polling of peers at other tech vendors. An unregistered deal is a lost opportunity both for a reseller, which loses out on an incremental discount, and for a vendor, which loses out on early identification of the deal as well as the ability to collaborate most effectively with the value-added reseller (VAR) on the deal.
Version 4 of the Deal Registration Network splits the tool's capabilities into two separate modules that can be purchased independently of one another. The Reporting and Analytics Platform provides visibility into a VAR's registered deal requests (including deals that were registered for but were never approved by a vendor), while the Registration Submissions Engine enables new deal registrations to be requested.
Reilly said the company's typical customers believe they were submitting about seven to 10 deal registrations per month per sales rep, prior to signing on with Vartopia. But, he said, that figure is often much lower in reality; based on its analytics data, Vartopia estimates the number at 1.9 registration requests per month per sales rep.
That gap between perception and reality is a significant one and represents a huge opportunity for VARs, Reilly said. "With the Reporting and Analytics platform, we help [VARs] understand that there actually is a big problem [in their deal registration processes]. Said differently, it's a huge opportunity for them: By leveraging our tool and their personnel and management, they can have a huge impact on their profitability," he said.
After signing on with VARtopia, he said, the average customer sees deal registration increases of more than 25%.
Resellers can embed the Deal Registration Network into a CRM application for greater integration with their internal processes, Reilly said.
Resellers can submit registrations for components for NetApp's FlexPod reference architecture free of charge because NetApp is underwriting that cost, Reilly said. "Partners can register a FlexPod solution in the Vartopia platform, which essentially groups together the required individual registration programs into a bundle in our workflow engine so they can do it all at once. Then they can report on it in the reporting engine and they can track it in our analytics dashboard, and we push that into the individual vendor systems," he said.
The company is looking to develop similar underwriting deals with other vendors, he said.
Outside of FlexPod registrations, there's a one-time setup fee of $250 per vendor per month. In addition, there's a flat monthly fee per registration request that varies based on volume and based on whether a reseller is using just the Reporting and Analytics platform or the full tool, including the Reporting and Analytics platform as well as the Registration Submissions Engine. Reilly said that a good rule of thumb for estimated costs is roughly $20 per outside sales rep per month for reporting and analytics, and $40 per outside sales rep per month for the full system.
Vartopia doesn't charge for user licenses, so access to the system can be given to as many employees as a reseller wants.
Dig deeper on Channel business management strategies