Secure infrastructure vendor Skyport Systems launched its first global channel partner program this week, as the company looks to provide its reseller network with a way to obtain a recurring revenue stream for delivering its solutions to market.
The SkySecure Partner Program is expected to allow technology partners, managed security service providers and system integrators to sell the company’s flagship Skysecure System with program-exclusive benefits such as deal registration and training materials, according to the company.
But rather than focus on selling its platform as a single hardware purchase, the company is looking to provide partners with recurring revenue via an as-a-service sales model, said Doug Gourlay, corporate vice president at Skyport Systems. The program will have a minimum three-year contract with up to five or six years upon renewal to give partners ample time to build relationships with their customers.
“The best model for us, the best model for the channel and oftentimes the best model for the end user is to sell it as an ongoing annuity-based service,” said Gourlay, in an interview with The VAR Guy. “One of the best possible things to ever have in your business is a predictable revenue stream.”
The program will differ from standard issue partner programs in that it will initially focus entirely on providing partners with access to the SkySecure platform so they can begin building a “lifecycle subscription relationship” with customers, said Phil Alexander, SkyPort’s channel chief. Unlike their contemporaries, Skyport is not offering margin differentiation based on tiers, so all partners will be judged on a single level.
“I think down the line ... we will have the training built into our program that will allow a partner to have a specific certified sales account manager or a certified engineer program, but the first iteration of the program is really about getting product into the hands of customers and getting our partners involved in sales,” he said.
According to Alexander, a fundamental part of the program is that partners receive a discount for all deals registered, and retain their original margin bonus for each consecutive year that they renew the subscription. The company will provide evaluation units at no cost to partners via its Flight Plan model in an effort to accelerate customer adoption and reduce sales cycle times. Two specific phases of the Flight Plan model are available, including the free “Flight Simulator” mode for initial remote workload tests and “Flight Certification,” wherein partners can validate a specific use case for production-ready workloads.
“With a product as innovative and sort of as game-changing as this, I personally think it’s a mistake to build a cookie-cutter partner program from the beginning,” said Alexander. “One thing we’re doing really well is we’re listening to the voice of the customer and we’re listening to the voice of the partner.”