Arcserve Channel Chief Ready to Accelerate Partner Program
Data-protection provider Arcserve stands ready to help partners that want to beef up their cybersecurity capabilities, whether it’s MSPs partnering with MSSPs, or MSPs that want to develop their own managed security services practice.
That’s according to Sue Fossnes, Arcserve’s new North American channel director. She is responsible for the development, implementation and measurement of new and existing channel programs, including associated partner incentives, to drive bookings and pipeline growth.
Fossnes is an industry veteran with 20 years of experience building and growing channel programs. Prior to joining Arcserve, Fossnes served as McAfee‘s global partner programs leader, responsible for all aspects of the company’s partner program, including design and enablement across various indirect routes to market, including distributors, resellers, MSPs and SIs.
She previously held channel leadership positions at eSentire and Symantec.
Arcserve recently launched its new Accelerate incentive program for MSPs, LARs, VARs and OEMs in North America. The program is designed to fast-track partner profitability through “industry leading” margins, re-developed e-learning programs, partner certification and access to cloud-native products with advanced support for private and public clouds, including AWS and Microsoft Azure. Early access partners have experienced a 300 percent increase in average order value month-over-month, according to the company.
“Sue has a strong reputation for developing transformative channel programs that drive mutual revenue growth, streamline operations and increase relevance to the partner community in the North American market,” said Alex Becker, Arcserve’s vice president and general manager. “Her appointment could not have come at a better time, especially as we’ve doubled down on our channel investments with the launch of Arcserve Accelerate earlier this year.”
In a Q&A with Channel Futures’ MSSP Insider, Fossnes talks about her plans for the Accelerate program and how the current market presents the “greatest opportunity” for partners.
MSSP Insider: Why did you want to take this role with Arcserve?
Sue Fossnes: When I was going through my evaluation of the different companies I was looking at, one of the things that really stood out to me about Arcserve is the opportunity to work for a company that’s 100 percent channel focused, and to be able to work with people that just understand who partners are, how they operate, what’s important to them and how we can best bring value and grow our business together with partners. And without having to worry about competing against the partners with a direct sales force, but actually having a sales force that collaborates with partners to try to solve customer problems.
MI: What do you want partners to know about you and what it’s like working with you?
SF: I’m very transparent, very honest and I love transparency and directness, and feedback from the partners that I work with. I have a very collaborative style. I love to hear from partners, I love to talk with them and meet with them, and understand what’s going on in their businesses, and how my team at Arcserve can help them to achieve their goals and how we we can do that together. So that’s my style, very open, very communicative and I love being in front of partners. That’s one of my favorite things about my job.
MI: Arcserve recently launched its Accelerate incentive program. Your thoughts on it and and Arcserve’s overall channel strategy?
SF: Being 100 percent channel go-to-market, I think we have the right plan in place, and we’re looking at and working with a lot of really fantastic partners. And because of the Accelerate program and what it’s been able to accomplish in the short time that it’s been in the market, we’re not only seeing greater traction and establishing more relevance in our existing partner base’s business, but we’re also starting to attract additional partners in a targeted way, and additional partners that I think can really benefit from what we bring to the table and we can grow together.
MI: Many MSPs are looking to beef up their cybersecurity capabilities, and a number of MSPs are becoming MSSPs. Can Arcserve help in this effort?
SF: What’s really fantastic about Arcserve is that we’re very complementary in terms of what we offer and what is required when you’re looking to add security into your portfolio. So whether MSPs want to do that through partnerships with other MSSPs or they want to develop their own practice, what we bring to the table is really the component of when something goes wrong and the MSP or MSSP has to respond, we can work very closely with the MSP, the MSSP, whatever their model is, to help them recover that customer quickly. We work very well together with many security providers that are out there, so whatever platforms that they’re going to standardize on, whatever solutions that they’re going to incorporate, Arcserve is very complementary to the MSSP space.
MI: You will be responsible for the development, implementation and measurement of new and existing channel programs. What makes an effective partner program and what do you look for in a partner?
SF: A successful channel program is comprised of so many different components. First, there’s the strategy and selecting the right partners that we all want to go to market with, and that are actually in investing in and going to market with us. I think the reciprocity and mutual investment is a very important element. We also want to make sure their go-to-markets are aligned in all of that.
But in terms of the partner program itself, we need to be easy to do business with. We need to be very focused on enabling our partners and helping them to build the acumen and skills that they need around our technology. We need to be supporting them absolutely. And backing up the partner program needs to be a baseline of really excellent technology so partners can feel really confident that the technology that we use is very reliable and will be very sticky with customers. So those components are very important to a successful partner program, in addition to the financial business proposition that we offer to the partner.
The Accelerate program really took some big steps forward with enhancing the value proposition in terms of financial benefits that we provide to the partner community. And we’ve also beefed up our enablement program and we have always offered very strong support for the partner community.
In terms of what we’re looking for in partners that we work with, reciprocity and investment is important, and we also want to be aligned in terms of we’re mid-market focused, we want to make sure we’re aligned in focus and in resources to support our growth goals together. We want to work with people that want to work with us, and I’m sure it goes vice versa.
MI: What are the biggest challenges facing Arcserve and its partners, and what will be your role in addressing those?
SF: In terms of challenges, I think that, broadly speaking, what’s going on in the marketplace and has been for a number of years is cloud and the advent of MSP becoming a much bigger piece of partners’ go-to-market and a bigger part of their business. That transformation has been happening for a number of years, but has really accelerated over the last couple years. And another thing that’s been going on at the same time is really that the choices have really increased for customers, so there’s so many more players in the marketplace, so many more software providers, those numbers have grown significantly. And so I think somewhat of the challenge is there’s a lot of customers and there’s a lot of choices for customers, so they need guidance on who to partner with, what technology to consume and why they should be doing that. Even with the advent of cloud, customers in some senses can self-provision a lot of things with SaaS and things like that, and that can present a challenge. I think that there’s still a lot of opportunity for Arcserve and our partners to make sure that not only are we providing the best technology for the customers to consume, but the partners are really playing that role of guiding their customers to the best solutions, and there’s still a very active role in that. So with cloud and SaaS, and the movement there, it’s probably the greatest opportunity and at the same time a bit of a challenge.
MI: What’s at the top of your to-do list?
SF: The top of my to-do list is really to bolster what’s been started with the Accelerate program and really optimize how Arcserve works with our MSP community and grow that community for Arcserve. We have fantastic technology offerings, we have incredibly high customer retention rates and we’re really just ideally suited to be successful there. But we just need some more effort and investment in that space, and that’s what I’m working on right now. We’ve really invested in trying to create some new programs for the MSP space. We’re investing in people and in the programs to support those partners, so I think we’re very well positioned to be successful there and in very short order.
MI: What do you hope to have accomplished a year from now?
SF: We want to see that our partners are growing and successful, that our business is growing and successful, and that our customers are wildly happy. And through the programs and people, and our engagement, we really want to deliver the business value to the customers and our partners, and really deliver an amazing experience for them.