March 11, 2022
Multicloud application delivery provider Prosimo is looking to build opportunities for its channel partners to transact through cloud service provider (CSP) marketplaces.
That’s according to Timo Prietto, Prosimo’s head of global alliances and partnerships. Prietto landed at the vendor in January to lead the Prosimo Next Partner Program. The new program caters to VARs, MSPs and SIs.
Prietto joins Prosimo from cloud networking provider Aviatrix, where he built an indirect said practice. His two-and-a-half-year tenure brought him into close contact with marketplaces from hyperscalers such as AWS and Microsoft Azure, and that experience will serve him as the entire channel ponders the rise of CSP marketplaces.
Prietto spoke to Channel Futures about marketplaces, partner trends and hybrid cloud.
Channel Futures: What made you join Prosimo?
Prosimo’s Timo Prietto
Prosimo: While Aviatrix was solving many cloud networking challenges, increasingly I saw that customers were asking for solutions to improve app response times, connect apps together with speed and security, and that many customers were looking for ways to add advanced features to their cloud network that didn’t require that they deprecate their existing native routing stack. When I got introduced to Prosimo and saw how their platform aligned to those needs, I realized they were on to something special.
CF: What would you say your legacy at Aviatrix was?
TP: It’s too soon to tell. One thing I am proud of about my time at Aviatrix is that we spend a lot of time helping different partners figure out how to build a business around CSP marketplaces. That’s the future and the channel is figuring that out.
CF: Prosimo has already been going to market with channel partners. How has the formal rollout of the company’s new channel program changed the way the company does business with partners?
TP: I think it says a lot about our dedication to the channel. There are a lot of partners out there that pay lip service to the channel, but Prosimo, making this investment this early on, shows how committed we are to the success of our partners.
CF: Could you break down how the Prosimo direct sales team gets incentivized to work alongside partners? What is that relationship between direct and indirect like?
TP: First, we are 100% channel. As such, it’s important we ensure that our rep compensation aligns to that priority, and I think we have done a great job of making sure our reps don’t see the channel as an expense. What a lot of organizations do is make their reps pay partner margins off the top of their deals and that creates a kind of channel conflict that we don’t need.
CF: Does the way you engage with MSP partners differ from VARs or SIs?
TP: As a general trend, resale and MSP seem to be converging in the cloud. MSPs are looking, at times, to resell, and VARs are finding that offering managed services in the cloud is something that their customers are looking for them to do more of. Thus, we do our best to remain nimble in the way we empower our partners while ensuring that we are maintaining a strong channel neutrality posture.
CF: Do these different partner types tend to differ in their multicloud expertise? For example, do MSPs tend to know more about multicloud than a VAR? Any observations there?
TP: There are all kinds of partners in the channel with incredible expertise around multicloud. The only trend is that partners that made an early investment in the cloud are coming of age now while others are just now trying to catch up. As with most trends, it pays to be early.
CF: You spent time in your last job working with the hyperscalers. How does that translate into Prosimo, and what do Prosimo and its partners need to be doing to excel in a multicloud world?
TP: There is a lot that we and our partners can do to benefit from the relationships we share with the hyperscalers. One thing that is important to me is building joint sales processes with our partners that center around co-selling opportunities and transacting through the CSP marketplaces. Customers are heavily incentivized (in most cases) to acquire software and services through the cloud provider’s marketplace, and I think that the partners and ISVs that get creative around aligning to those incentives will receive their unfair share of support from the CSPs.
CF: Is there anything else you would like to add?
TP: We live in a hybrid world today, and hybrid doesn’t just apply to infrastructure, but also to applications. Our partners recognize that their enterprise customers have stateful applications, legacy applications, and now serverless applications and microservices all running across multiple clouds — and all those applications need to talk. The problem is, connecting those applications requires a mesh approach that extends beyond Layer 3 or Layer 4 networking. Our partners know this is a big problem and see that Prosimo is the only solution in the market today that can bring all of those applications together with high-performance and ZTNA security. That’s why our partners are succeeding.
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