Enterasys Ramping up Verticals-Focused Marketing Push
Enterasys is quickly moving from being the “best kept secret in IT” to a force to be reckoned with in the networking space. And it has its channel partners to thank.
At its SuperDrive 2012 channel partner event this week in Las Vegas, the network infrastructure vendor acknowledged the impact its partners have had on its success in the last few years, due in part to the company’s shift in focus to serve its partners.
“When Ram (Appalaraju, VP of Marketing) and I came to Enterasys, we realized there were two major areas of the company that needed focus: marketing and the channel,” said Charlie VanPelt, director of North American Channels at Enterasys. “From the channel perspective we saw had a culture where our AEs (account executives) were good at selling deals, our customers were loyal, and we would put deals through channel, but we had not spent time cultivating the channel. We needed to change that culture and be channel-centric so all the pull-through goes through the channel. We have to leverage the channel to grow the channel.”
For the past two years or so, Enterasys has done just that, creating a channel-focused organization in which 90 percent of sales go through its partners. The result: Enterasys has enjoyed 10 quarters of consecutive year-over-year growth. In addition, 100 new partners have signed on in the past year, and revenue through its partners has increased 26 percent through the first half of 2012 vs. the first half 2011, noted Enterasys President and CEO Chris Crowell during his keynote May 15.
Now the company is shifting its focus slightly to marketing, hoping to build and sustain a message of relevancy for its partners in particular verticals.
“If you look at any press release from any vendor and strip out the name of the company and the product, every one is saying the exact same thing,” Appalaraju said. “We know we need to help our partners differentiate themselves and tell our story in a way that is relevant to the customer.”
As such, Enterasys plans to roll out a series of marketing tools for partners focused in key verticals including healthcare, K-12, higher education, federal government, hospitality and manufacturing logistics. The idea is to match the customer need within each vertical to Enterasys’ three main focus areas: access edge, mobility/bring your own device and virtualization/virtual desktop infrastructure.
“Our innovation matters most in verticals where business is high priority and IT is not,” Appalaraju said. “They want all the things big guys want, but they don’t have the support structure to do it. That’s where our technology message resonates the best.”
Indeed, those vertical markets are prime candidates for Enterasys’ OneFabric architecture, which Enterasys debuted in October 2011 to address the management of devices from the data center to the edge, on both wired and wireless networks. Enterasys believes the OneFabric approach is what makes its story so compelling to and for its partner base.
So far, it look as though partners agree.