Ipswitch Relaunches Channel Program for WhatsUp Gold
Five years after overhauling its platform to create a more robust offering, Ipswitch has formalized how it does business with the channel. The WhatsUp Gold vendor has created a formal channel program for its flagship product, including tiers of partnership and the opportunity for double-digit commissions, said Alana Kirkpatrick, senior channel marketing manager at Ipswitch. Here are the details.
“We recognize that the channel is best way for us to grow,” she said. “We launched our program about a month ago and spent the first half of 2010 creating the infrastructure. We adjusted the margins for double-digit growth and also introduced a third tier.”
Ipswitch did have an informal channel program around What’s Up Gold, but there was no real, ongoing support for its partners. The new program, however, demonstrates a commitment by the company to ensure its partners are supported, both financially and through sales and technical assistance.
“For our silver- and gold-tier partners we have dedicated channel managers and sales engineers who are available to assist partners at any stage of the deal,” said Patrick Loring, vice president of North American Sales. “We also encourage our partners to fulfill on software and maintenance for us. Our strategy is for them to stay in touch with their renewal base and keep the contracts renewed on time.”
Ipswitch is also on the cusp of launching deal registration, he added.
“We have an inside sales organization and do do business direct but it sells at MSRP,” Loring said. “We are not in competition with partners at a price level. We recognize some want to purchase on a credit card and we let them, but we want our partners to see there is a much larger opportunity to get into deals with margins that are six figures.”
Along those lines, Loring said partners should focus their efforts on companies that have between 250 and 1000 employees. “Smaller organizations can help keep money flowing, but we see more VARs focusing on the 250- to 1,000-size deal that they can competitively win.”
Ipswitch will be kicking off some partner recruitment events later in 2010 and also is taking the program international, Loring said.