McCarthy and Cornmesser, Infoblox Partner Summit 2018

Infoblox Partner Summit: More Recurring Revenue Opportunities, Customer Mindshare

Infoblox's Americas Partner Summit highlighted opportunities for partners in security, cloud and subscription-based offerings.

(Pictured above: Infoblox's Bill McCarthy and Lori Cornmesser on stage at Infoblox Americas Partner Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 6.)

INFOBLOX AMERICAS PARTNER SUMMIT — Infoblox is spreading the word far and wide that its focus goes beyond core network services and includes security, cloud and subscription-based offerings.

That's according to Lori Cornmesser, the vendor's vice president of worldwide partner alliances. During the first day of Infoblox's Americas Partner Summit, she shared market opportunities and outlined her company's partner strategy and what partners can expect in fiscal year 2019.

The theme of the conference is "Next Level Partnering." Last month, Infoblox rolled out its expanded global partner program, which rewards partners for their investment in accreditation competencies such as network, security and automation. Partners who invest in certifications and training receive increased benefits.

The purpose and vision for the conference was to make sure partners know there's an "expanded opportunity in the ways and solutions that partners go to market," Cornmesser said.

"We've been the leader in DDI (which includes domain name system (DNS), dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) and IP address management) for a number of years and partners know us in that space," she said. "But now as they start to think about us in security, cloud and subscription, a lot of times that was the piece that was missing. It was how do we actually fit into all of those go-to-market models."

Lori Cornmesser

Infoblox wants to be the "vendor of choice," and part of that means "we need partners to think about us in those solutions and where they complement, but also lead with us," Cornmesser said.

For fiscal 2019, Infoblox plans to add more value to what partners are selling, more opportunities around professional and managed services, more recurring revenue opportunities and more customer "mindshare," "by transitioning from an add-on to an absolute imperative," she said.

"You’ll hear a lot about our contributions to SaaS and subscription-based offerings," Cornmesser said.

When it comes to security, Infoblox has a "really compelling message" about where it fits and how it differentiates, Cornmesser said. Some $20 million of the company's business is in security based on deal registration, with the Americas driving about 60 percent of that, she said.

"We're telling a better story, a broader story, and we're telling it to the right customers and the right buyers and the right engineers within that customer base," she said. "We were so used to selling into a network engineer and we were telling the wrong stories to the wrong people. We are also telling the wrong stories to the wrong partners. So now we've aligned to telling the right story to the right customers, to our partners who are leading in security and driving that as part of their business. As a result, we've seen an increase in the overall security business."

Among its goals for fiscal year 2019, Infoblox pinpoints 1,100 new partner pipeline opportunities per quarter, and 5,750 partner accreditations.

"Here was my vision when I said I wanted to do an Americas partner summit: I wanted to leave the partners more informed, more connected and more inspired behind Infoblox so when they went back, they were thinking about us in security, in cloud and in subscription services, and not just what they knew about us before," Cornmesser said. "We have a deliberate dependence on partners."  

Bill McCarthy, Infoblox's executive vice president of worldwide field operations, told partners his company experienced 15 percent year-over-year growth in revenue in fiscal 2018, and the company is making "big pivots" in security, subscription and cloud offerings. Ninety-five percent of the company's business is driven through partners, he said.

Infoblox closed out its fiscal 2019 first quarter on Oct. 31 and the growth was "explosive," he said.

"Our relevance in the market is increasing," McCarthy said. "The projects we're working on are bigger than ever."

Philip Puccio, founder and CEO of Elevi Associates, an IT product, services and staffing firm, said his company attended the partner summit to find out where Infoblox is going and its strategic shift with adding security "as one of our three core competencies." He said he also was there to relay information back to customers.

"That strategic relationship between the VAR and the partner/vendor like Infoblox is definitely key in the customer being successful in the end," he said. "And when a vendor like Infoblox and a VAR like Elevi partner together with the common goal of making sure that the customer is taken care of, being responsive to the customer and being proactive for the customer, that's really where the value-add comes in."

Empowered Networks, an Infoblox partner for about nine years, is a VAR and "niche SI" that specializes in monitoring and management tools for next-generation networks, said Brian Hepburn, its CEO.

"For really the last year or two our discussions have been heading more around automation and compliance and security, and if you're not contributing to customers' success in those areas, they really don't have time to talk to you," he said. "So it's great to see the new, fresher messaging — and Infoblox has a tremendous value proposition there."

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