ZyXEL Channel Update: From Hardware To Cloud Services
The VAR Guy has noticed an accelerating trend: Network vendors are gearing up not just with hardware, but with services, too. Case in point: ZyXEL. Our resident blogger sat down with ZyXEL’s Steven Joe, VP of channel business for the Americas, and Jake Sailana, marketing communications manager, to talk about the future of networking and the evolution of ZyXEL’s partner program. Here’s the scoop, from yours truly…
ZyXEL‘s latest motivation is to think outside the box — the hardware box, that is. According to Steven Joe, ZyXEL has spent roughly the last nine months developing a new way to target the consumer and business sectors and continue to grow their product pipeline based on “what everyone is looking for.”
Right now ZyXEL has that pipeline headed straight to a recurring revenue reservoir. According to Joe, this is an important gap to be closed between VARs and SMBs. “The VARs don’t have the system or the opportunity to find a product line with a long-term licensing revenue,” says Joe, but ZyXEL wants to change that through managed cloud security, “and eventually provide other server level offerings for our customers.”
For instance, in May of 2011 ZyXEL worked with PowerCloud to provide cloud-configurable wireless access points. Just plug them in, and they automatically reach out to the server for their configuration specifications.
Joe also referenced an upcoming cloud-based IP security camera systems from ZyXEL, which should allow VARs to build service around recoding, managing and maintaining the physical security system – all from a web-based dashboard. Couple that with some up and coming products and partner incentives, and you can tell there’s confidence that ZyXEL will branch out considerably.
Echoing that sentiment was Jake Sailana. “It’s more than solutions that just push products,” said Sailana, “This year, with the channel incentives program, we want to promote more services and push our VARs towards services based revenue.” For ZyXEL, they want their partners to deliver “carrier-class products,” that are as SMB friendly as possible.
But ZyXEL’s goals aren’t to compete with a Cisco-sized business. Instead, the company is looking to play to a popular niche. “Right now, the issue is that there are many players in the marketplace today, and we’re technically equivalent to all of them. But if you’re looking for long-term profitability, give ZyXEL a try. We’re dedicated in the SMB space,” Joe said, “You won’t be disappointed.”
Currently, ZyXEL has just under 1,000 partners, with about 500 of them joining inside the last year. Joe divulged limited information, but said that some partners saw triple-digit growth in 2011.
Going forward, Joe said that ZyXEL would be launching “an entire online cloud-based licensing service program soon, and numerous products through the year [in the] business and consumer sector,” with a focus on security, wireless networking and switching.
Joe also described an evolution in the networking product pipeline for a product that allows for seamless switching between cellular and wireless Internet connections. “There’s a move to a more managed type of WiFI that’s happening in the marketplace today,” and ZyXEL will be capitalizing on it, especially amid MDM demands.
The VAR Guy will wait with bated breath and continue to keep ZyXEL on his radar.