BMC Software Inc. is focusing on the partner sales process and emphasizing solutions versus technology as it steps up its engagement with channel companies.
The software company this year is asking BMC partners to allocate a dedicated presales engineer in their organizations, said Sanjay Gupta, vice president of global ecosystem sales at BMC. He said the company has created skills profiles for cultivating its own presales personnel and is now sharing those profiles with its channel partners.
Gupta, who joined BMC in February 2015, said the presence of presales engineers helps partners build a stronger pipeline and drive more sales.
In another nod to sales, the software vendor is rolling out its value-based selling methodology to BMC partners. The first training class on the methodology is taking place this month in Europe with another session slated for North America later this year. The methodology, which BMC uses internally, aims to help partners identify customer pain points and quantify their effects on the customer. The idea, Gupta said, is to shift the sales conversation away from products and toward the value of the channel partner's solution.
Other BMC sales initiatives include working with partners to boost their sales pipelines.
Nathan George, president and CEO of Flycast Partners, a value-added reseller in St. Petersburg, Fla., that specializes in technologies such as IT service management (ITSM), said his company participates with BMC in pipeline generation days. On those days, sales representatives from Flycast Partners and BMC work together on cold-calling and identifying leads. Some sessions take place in a BMC office, while others are held at Flycast Partners' location, George noted.
Sanjay Guptavice president of global ecosystem sales, BMC
In addition, BMC follows up with conference calls during which it provides guidance on when leads at certain stage in Flycast Partners' pipeline can be expected to escalate to a go or no-go decision. George said the conference calls help set expectations for his sales reps and provide a roadmap the company can follow.
"Before that, we were shooting in the dark," he said.
George also pointed out that BMC is bringing together what had been mainly discrete products into unified solutions. That move has let Flycast Partners branch out from its ITSM business base into areas such as capacity management and workload automation.
"BMC is putting the training wheels on ... to get you up and running," George said. "They are helping us open those lines of business."
Indeed, BMC aims to rebalance its partner ecosystem, which historically pursued the company's ITSM offerings, to focus on the company's overall portfolio of products, Gupta explained. BMC's products are grouped into security, performance and analytics, and digital business automation categories in addition to ITSM.
BMC, meanwhile, is reaching out to BMC partners -- independent software vendors (ISVs) and solution providers, for example -- willing to contribute their own offerings built on BMC technology. The company's Innovation Suite provides developers with design tools, APIs and reusable components for creating service management applications.
"We are doing a big push right now around solutions and having our partners bring forward solutions they are building ... to make those more available," Gupta said.
Cisco: 'Destruction-of-service' attacks on the horizon
The next wave of security threats -- including what Cisco describes as "destruction-of-service" attacks -- will keep security-oriented channel partners busy.
That's Cisco's take on the current security landscape. Cisco recently outlined the evolution of threats in its 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report, which points to the potential for destruction-of-service attacks designed to wipe out organizations' backups and eliminate their ability to restore systems in the aftermath of the initial attack.
"With the expansion of cyberthreats, there is a clear opportunity for channel partners to help customers assess their threat risks and develop a strategic plan to minimize risk," said Dave Gronner, senior manager of security go-to-market for the global partner organization at Cisco.
Gronner, in a prepared statement, said customers are "eager to tap partners to deliver managed services and staff augmentation."
In other findings, Cisco's report cited a "striking decline" in exploit kits, but noted rising volumes of spam with malicious attachments and the continued persistence of spyware and adware.
While artificial intelligence (AI) and software robots are poised to change the nature of IT services, a new report suggests that a large segment of the general public feels unthreatened. Randstad US, a human resources services provider, said 84% of U.S. respondents to its survey believe AI and robotics "will have a positive impact on the workplace in the next three to five years." On the other hand, 14% of those polled said they worry automation will eliminate their jobs. The report's results are based on more than 5,300 online interview respondents.
Appiphony, a product development outsourcer for Salesforce applications, launched Strike Connect, which the company described as a native Salesforce integration framework for ISVs. Appiphony received funding via Salesforce Ventures as part of the SI Trailblazer Fund announced earlier this year.
Microsoft has published the second edition of its Enterprise Cloud Strategy e-book. The new version provides "best practices and guidance on how to get started, and which applications to consider first in your cloud migration," according to the company.
Logicalis US, an IT solutions and managed service provider, is looking for U.S. CIOs and other IT professionals to participate in its Global CIO Survey. Logicalis' 2017 survey is available online until August 1.
IntSights, a cyberthreat intelligence service provider, has appointed Jessica Couto as vice president of worldwide channels and alliances. Couto will launch and manage IntSights' channel program, which the company said will include resellers and managed security service providers (MSSPs). Couto was formerly channel vice president at Hexadite, which launched a partner program in April 2017.
ESET, an antivirus and internet security vendor, announced a 40% increase in year-over-year channel partner growth. The company reported particular interest among MSPs, citing its ESET MSP Program as its fastest growing channel segment. According to ESET, 95% of partner applications came from MSPs and MSSPs last year.
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