'7 Minutes' with Kemp Technologies Director of Partner Development Tim Quinn

A new breed of software-based ADCs promises higher margins and better services ops for partners.

September 4, 2018

6 Min Read

**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

By Frank J. Ohlhorst

It’s no secret that digital transformation is fueling growth for the IT channel overall and MSPs in particular. The beauty – and challenge – of digital transformation for suppliers is that it delivers extensive opportunities for those willing and able to embrace change.

Take Kemp Technologies, which started out in 2000 as a hardware-centric provider of load-balancing technologies for the WAN market and has transformed its primary product mix to embrace cloud-based application delivery controllers (ADCs) designed to bring control and elasticity to public-cloud environments, such as those offered by Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Kemp is in the software-only ADC camp along with rivals such as Snapt, Avi Networks, Nginx and Pulse Secure (formerly Brocade). They’re taking on traditional hardware ADC vendors such as F5, A10 Networks, Array Networks, Barracuda and Citrix.


Kemp’s Tim Quinn

The ascension of software-based ADCs could prove to be a boon for solution providers looking to bring application delivery control and enhanced security to their hybrid cloud clients, says Tim Quinn, director of partner development, North America, Quinn told us that Kemp brings opportunities to solution providers by providing flexible consumption models for an ever-growing portfolio of application delivery products and services. Quinn works with MSPs that are building significant recurring revenue with Kemp 360, an application-delivery fabric consisting of LoadMaster ADC, an automation, provisioning and management platform, and a predictive remediation service.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Quinn talks about the company’s channel strategy and what Kemp has to offer resellers and other partner types.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

Tim Quinn: Kemp partners with a variety of MSPs; however, the common denominator between them all is that Kemp is an easy vendor to work with, easy to sell, easy to collaborate with and easy to integrate into a cloud migration strategy offering. All of this means quicker time-to-money.

CP: Describe your channel program — heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

TQ: Kemp is a channel-centric company; we don’t take orders directly. Our channel program is meant to be simple and achievable. We work very closely with the partners that invest in Kemp, and we encourage and reward such participation with a tiered program that includes, but is not limited to deal registration, training, marketing and certifications.

Margin is still king, but hardware and software margins are secondary to an MSP’s service margins. When it comes to application migration, Kemp’s advanced application delivery fabric, Kemp 360, utilizes the expertise that an MSP can provide, from consultation to discovery to assessment to design — all the way through to implementation and support services.

CP: How can solution providers get started in this market segment?

TQ: Application delivery into the public cloud is a common – if not a direct – requirement with almost every end user. At a minimum, it should be a discussion point of every …

… digital-transformation conversation. Customers are looking for and depending on their trusted advisers to help them understand and navigate the complexities of on-premises application migration to the cloud. Kemp’s software is a key component that complements and enhances solution providers’ service offerings.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

TQ: F5 and Citrix NetScaler have been Kemp’s traditional competitors; however, Kemp is changing the game. Most of our competitors are still hardware-centric, meaning they like to sell big boxes, big iron. Kemp is a software company, so that gives us the advantage to not be hardware dependent and, more importantly, unconstrained by hardware capacity. Our ADF software, along with our consumption-based licensing, allows our partners to deliver a clear differentiation while being responsive and flexible to customers’ needs.

CP: Do you work with any master agents or distributors now? If so, which ones, and if not, do you expect to establish these relationships?

TQ: Kemp’s North American channel program is a two-tiered distribution model with Ingram Micro Systems in the U.S. and Synnex in Canada. We have this model in international markets as well. When working with a reseller, we will direct them to work through our distributor. There are exceptions; this would apply to cloud solution providers (CSPs) and hosting providers who own their own facilities and provide solutions directly to end-users.

We also offer a corporate consulting agreement to consulting firms that do not resell third-party products but do recommend technology such as Kemp’s LoadMaster or our application delivery fabric, Kemp 360.

CP: How many partners are you working with, and what are your growth predictions?

TQ: Like most emerging technology companies, in the past we were eager to sign up as many resellers as we could. The reality is, in North America we have hundreds of resellers, but we work closely with a small percentage [of them that generate] the bulk of our revenue.

Currently we are not looking for the traditional reseller. We are actively recruiting partners that provide managed and professional services to their customers. Today, partners identify themselves in many ways: MSPs, CSPs, XSPs, system integrators, global system integrators, consulting firms. Kemp is interested in all comers, and we encourage these partners to check us out, drop us a line or just pick up the phone and call us. We are happy to share with them our story, the value of our technology and the value we can bring to them and their customers.

CP: What does the future hold for the Kemp channel program?

TQ: These are exciting times. Our application-delivery fabric, Kemp 360, along with our flexible licensing models and our focus on leveraging the right partnerships, [are] really helping us up our game. We are committed to work with and …

… invest our time, effort, resources and money into the right partners. Our software is rock-solid, our reputation is impeccable, our commitment to our partner program is unwavering and our ability to help our partner be successful is paramount. These are exciting times for Kemp and our partners.

CP: Anything additional that partners should know?

TQ: Kemp was founded in 2000 and has achieved more than 40,000 deployments of our software across the globe, and has more than 17,000 customers worldwide. We are currently the No. 3 vendor in the application delivery controller market, right behind F5 and Citrix NetScaler, and we are on track for significant growth. Kemp also has several value-adds, such as the ability to manage F5, AWS ELB, NGiNX & HAProxy ADCs, eliminating the need for MSPs to run multiple dashboards for their ADC deployments. Kemp’s VS Motion makes it simple to copy and replicate LoadMaster configurations and settings across different instances, even across clouds and different data centers. We also offer a freeware version, called Free LoadMaster, that is always free and a great way to examine the technology without any hassles.

Kemp has dedicated resources for partner development and success, including an enterprise sales team, a pre-sales engineering team, an inside sales team, a U.S. federal sales team, a CSP sales team and a partner development team.

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