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Axcient front-loads SaaS sales compensation for VARs

This week, Axcient unveiled 'Software as a Service: Front Loaded Option,' a new resellers program; cloud communications vendor Corvisa launched a partner program; and more news.

Cloud-based backup and disaster-recovery-as-a-service provider Axcient has introduced a value-added reseller (VAR) partner program that aims to replicate the traditional model for reselling hardware. The new program offers partners up-front sales compensation for the sale, delivery and support of Axcient's Business Recovery Cloud offering.

Mark Swendsen, vice president of sales at Axcient, explained the issues that many resellers have with cloud services that the new program, called "Software as a Service: Front Loaded Option" (SaaS:FLO), hopes to address. "I think that the problem [VARs] are looking at is that they're looking at cloud as being disruptive to the channel. And at a certain level, it is. But it's not the technology that's disruptive. It's the way that the business model works that is [the] antithesis to how the traditional VAR model is set up and how it works," he said. While VAR executives may like the ideas of recurring revenue and the managed services element, he said it is a situation "where the spirit is willing and the flesh is weak" because the VAR business model is based on taking large chunks of margin upfront to pay their bills and sales reps.

"This model is a model that can be the thin edge of the wedge for resellers who are excited about building a cloud practice but maybe don't have the patience or the cash reserves to begin doing it," Swendsen said. Front-loading the margin in a SaaS sale gives the sale the look and feel of a hardware sale, he added.

'I think what Axcient realized is that these VARs still control the relationships with the ultimate enterprise customers. And because of that, they are in the catbird seat for determining how and where cloud services do ultimately get sold.'
Mark Swedsenvice president of sales, Axcient

Axcient decided to develop the SaaS sales compensation program after noting the strong relationships between VARs and the customers that the company targets, he said. "I think what Axcient realized is that these VARs still control the relationships with the ultimate enterprise customers. And because of that, they are in the catbird seat for determining how and where cloud services do ultimately get sold. And so what Axcient decided to do was instead of asking VARs to change their entire business model, for a leopard to change its spots, we decided to change our business model to accommodate how VARs want to buy."

"If all SaaS providers developed a model like this, the rumors of the VAR channel ultimately being disrupted would really go away," he said, "because this would allow SaaS companies to gain equal footing with the hardware-equivalent companies that they're competing with by acquiescing to the predominant business model that VARs are using to run their business."

The company is providing the SaaS:FLO program as an option to its traditional reseller program, which will remain the same.

Corvisa launches cloud communications partner program

Cloud communications provider Corvisa LLC has unwrapped a channel partner program targeting referral and reseller partner communities.

The program provides partners with access to Corvisa's cloud communication products and Summit Platform. To meet varied customer requirements, Corvisa has made its contact center suite, phone system and platform available as a complete offering or "a la carte." Partners and their customers can use the Summit Platform to customize Corvisa products or build new voice and SMS applications for specific business needs.

According to Corvisa, it is the first provider to provide an integrated product-plus-platform offering through a channel partner program. "This is the first time that the partner community has access to a fully integrated and scalable cloud telecommunications solution, whereas, in the past, the partners have had to go out to different vendors and different partners to get all the bits and pieces of their solution that they needed," said Pieter Knight, Corvisa's vice president of channel sales.

Benefits of the program include hands-on engagement, training and support.

Ingram Micro joins the Verizon Partner Program

Ingram Micro Mobility has joined the Verizon Partner Program to provide its resellers with end-to-end, machine-to-machine and mobility products, including hardware, software and accessories, as well as device-activation capabilities. As a Verizon partner, Ingram Micro Mobility can also now utilize Verizon account teams for pricing, engineering support and customer care.

CompTIA modernizes CASP exam

CompTIA has updated its mastery-level IT security exam CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP). The new exam (CS-002) addresses the latest enterprise-level cybersecurity threats and validates competency in enterprise security; risk management; incident response; research and analysis; integration of computing, communications and business disciplines; and technical integration of enterprise components. 

Tech Data makes distribution deal with Springpath

Distributor Tech Data Corp. has signed an exclusive agreement with software company Springpath to offer its data platform software to its solution provider partners in the U.S. The Springpath software is available through the distributor's Advanced Infrastructure Solutions division.

Continuum bundles Webroot security into RMM

Managed IT services company Continuum has partnered with security vendor Webroot to deliver Webroot's SecureAnywhere Business-Endpoint Protection to its managed service provider (MSP) partners. Continuum will now bundle Webroot's cloud-based security with its remote monitoring and management platform.

Next Steps

Also this week, Cisco introduced two new collaboration certifications

IBM channel chief mapped out IBM's MSP and ISV partner strategy

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There will be other challenges that arise with the VAR channel. I think this only is a component of the solution, business models must adapt.
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