As an Intronis employee, I interact with plenty of managed service providers who evaluate and offer numerous technology solutions to their clients. During our discussions, I’ll usually let the business owner know that Intronis only partners with managed service providers, IT resellers, and other companies that provide IT solutions to SMB’s. While some non-channel focused solutions may be just as efficient, it seems to me that the channel-focused solutions are more beneficial.
What are some reasons for this?
1. Product Development With Partners In MindThe product roadmap for channel-focused companies is driven by the partners themselves. Because the company utilizes input from its partners, it is able to shape and develop its products in that manner. This streamlines and adds value to the product itself. For example, a content partner stated, “The central management portal is so flexible and easy to use with its drag and drop interface. I can easily adjust my customers’ backup schedules that way.”
2. Customer Support With Partners In MindThe team is trained to handle issues and questions that resonate among partners. Rather than wearing multiple hats, the customer support team can enhance and focus upon skills related to the most important needs of its partners. As in any product segment, customer service is key to retaining consumers (partners) and attaining potential ones and in turn, the success of a company and its product.
3. Partner-centric Pricing ModelsA major advantage of a channel focused partnership is price, in which a partner will never be undercut. Channel-focused companies price their programs strategically so that partners can make appealing margins when selling to the end users. This seems to be a compelling component when evaluating vendors -- as in any industry since price is such a definitive factor in strategic business and purchase decisions in both products and services.
4. Flexible Partner BrandingThe ability to rebrand is typically unique to channel-focused companies. Rebranding allows the partner to enhance the level of confidence already existing with its current clients. I think this may be one factor that some MSP’s overlook. In my opinion, a rebranded solution builds trust between the reseller and the end user. Many individuals that I speak with tend to feel that their level of trust with their clients is pretty high. Why not continue to instill in that trust with a solution that speaks for the provider itself?
5. Partner-centric Marketing and EducationThe channel-focused company, with a value-add product, will be driven by its partners’ success when selling and marketing the solution. The vendor will likely find ways to promote and educate the channel with webinars, demos, best practice sessions, etc.
To conclude, a partnership with a channel focused vendor can be useful. Whether it be features and robustness of product, customer support, rebranding ability, or the overall attitude that a vendor has toward its partners, a channel focused partnership will not only be supportive, but also bring success.
Danielle St. Jean is an account consultant at Intronis. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorship. Read all Intronis guest blogs here.