The rumors were true: Synnex and itControl Solutions, managed services partners since 2008, have ended their relationship. Sources say Synnex, a large distributor, is speaking with at least one other MSP software provider about a potential "1 million node freemium" engagement. Meanwhile, itControl Solutions is preparing several new channel moves. The bigger story: It's difficult for technology partners to remain aligned amid the ever-shifting managed services landscape. Here's why.
First, the official details. itControl Solutions CEO Sheldon Waters has alerted partners about the end of the Synnex relationship. In an email to partners Waters wrote:
"As a valued reseller of itControl Suite, we wish to inform you that we have ended our relationship with Synnex. Your itControl installations will be supported and maintained by us directly, with the full attention of our team. We remain dedicated to the Channel and are excited to be able to open our world of product enhancements, direct support and marketing opportunities to you, that may not have been introduced to you up until now."Bryan Short, senior VP of global channel sales and operations at itControl Solutions, says everybody was "in sync" when the itControl-Synnex relationship launched in 2008. But over time, he says, itControl and Synnex had different priorities. (Note: I've also reached out to Synnex for their perspectives. We'll p0st and update as soon as MSPmentor has more info to share.)
He Said, She SaidSources say there were multiple sticking points in the Synnex-itControl Solutions relationship.
For instance, Synnex wanted to launch a one-million-node freemium strategy but itControl wanted to focus more on pure managed services. Also, Synnex apparently leveraged an older itControl Suite release rather than the current CAKE release, multiple source say.
But on the flip side, multiple sources say Synnex grew frustrated with itControl product limitations and support issues. And looking ahead, Synnex wanted lower price points for a potential one-million-node freemium strategy -- but itControl wasn't willing to meet the price points, the sources add.
Regardless of who you believe, the divorce is official and itControl is now reaching out to partners to explain its long-term channel strategy.
Turning the PageRoughly 30 percent of the itControl partner base is through Synnex, Short estimates. itControl is offering to support those VARs and MSPs directly, Short says. And in his email to partners, itControl Solutions CEO Sheldon Waters wrote:
"We are introducing our new attractive pricing model, providing higher profit for our resellers ... Our team will be in touch with you to discuss this situation further and will work with you in the transition to our direct operations for support, billing and all things itControl."Still, itControl Solutions must work hard to maintain credibility with channel partners. Short says business continues strong. But even before the Synnex-itControl relationship ended some MSPs expressed concern about itControl's channel turnover.
- Former VP of North American Channel Development Ted Roller left in May 2010 and soon surfaced as channel chief at Intronis, the online backup company that works closely with MSPs.
- David Toms, acting senior VP of global sales and marketing, left itControl Solutions in July 2010 and joined Metaphor, according to Toms' LinkedIn profile.
The March to One MillionMeanwhile, it sounds like Synnex still has big plans for the managed services market; some pundits speculate Synnex may pursue a relationship with another Canadian-based MSP software company and the engagement could involve freemium managed services.
Plus, MSP veteran Amy Luby is now senior director of sales operations at Synnex -- proof that the distributor is working hard on recurring revenue opportunities for channel partners.
We'll keep you posted if we hear more.
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