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Infoblox Partner Summit: Expanded Go-to-Market Opportunities Await

The theme of the Infoblox conference is "Next Level Partnering."

Edward Gately

November 7, 2018

5 Min Read
Lori Cornmesser Infoblox Partner Summit 2018

(Pictured above: Infoblox’s Lori Cornmesser on stage at Infoblox Americas Partner Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 6.)

INFOBLOX AMERICAS PARTNER SUMMIT — Infoblox is focused on security, cloud and subscription-based offerings as part of its go to market with partners, and is starting to see that strategy pay off.

That’s according to Lori Cornmesser, the vendor’s vice president of worldwide partner alliances. During the first day of Infoblox’s Americas Partner Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona, she shared market opportunities and outlined her company’s partner strategy and what partners can expect in fiscal year 2019.

Cornmesser-Lori_Infoblox.jpg

Infoblox’s Lori Cornmesser

The theme of the conference is “Next Level Partnering.” Last month, Infoblox rolled out its expanded global partner program, which rewards partners for their investment in accreditation competencies such as network, security and automation; and partners who invest in certifications and training receive increased benefits.

Infoblox has 1,100 partners transacting globally and year over year its channel has grown 12 percent, Cornmesser said.

“For the size and complexity of our company, that’s a good number,” she said. “We’re getting integrated into those solutions and growing together.”

The purpose and vision for the conference was to make sure partners know there’s an “expanded opportunity in the ways and solutions that partners go to market,” Cornmesser said.

“We’ve been the leader in DDI [which includes domain name system (DNS), dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) and IP address management] for a number of years, and partners know us in that space,” she said. “But now as they start to think about us in security, cloud and subscription, a lot of times that was the piece that was missing. It was, how do we actually fit into all of those go-to-market models?”

Infoblox wants to be the “vendor of choice,” and part of that means “we need partners to think about us in those solutions and where they compliment, but also lead with us,” Cornmesser said.

Customers are driving Infoblox’s growth in SaaS and subscription-based offerings, Cornmesser said.

“The customers are starting to make that pivot; they’re starting to see the economic value of that and so that’s why it’s important why we get ahead of that with our partners, specifically about what that’s going to mean in our business and how we do that together,” she said.

When it comes to security, Infoblox has a “really compelling message” about where it fits and how it differentiates, Cornmesser said. Some $20 million of the company’s business is in security based on deal registration, with the Americas driving about 60 percent of that.

“We’re telling a better story, a broader story and we’re telling it to the right customers, and the right buyers and the right engineers within that customer base,” she said. “We were so used to selling into a network engineer and we were telling the wrong stories to the wrong people. We were also telling the wrong stories to the wrong partners. So now we’ve aligned to tell the right story to the right customers, to our partners who are leading in security and driving that as part of their business. As a result, we’ve seen an increase in the overall security business.”

Among its goals for fiscal year 2019, Infoblox pinpoints 1,100 new partner pipeline opportunities per quarter, and 5,750 partner accreditations.

“We’ve laid a very good foundation; we’re seeing the market respond to the stories that we’re telling, and we’re seeing partners align in the right places and doing the right things,” Cornmesser said. “We’re building this investment with increased resources in channel and money to go spend, so it’s coming together. For me, fiscal 2019 is the advanced math equation. We’ve built the basics … and now it’s about …

… focus and execution.”

Bill McCarthy, Infoblox’s executive vice president of worldwide field operations, told partners his company experienced 15 percent year-over-year growth in revenue in fiscal 2018, and the company is making “big pivots” in security, subscription and cloud offerings. Ninety-five percent of the company’s business is driven through partners, he said.

Infoblox closed out its fiscal 2019 first quarter on Halloween and the growth was “explosive,” he said.

“Our relevance in the market is increasing,” McCarthy said. “The projects we’re working on are bigger than ever.”

Empowered Networks, an Infoblox partner for about nine years, is a VAR and “niche SI” that specializes in monitoring and management tools for next-generation networks, said Brian Hepburn, its CEO.

“For really the last year or two, our discussions have been heading more around automation and compliance and security, and if you’re not contributing to customers’ success in those areas, they really don’t have time to talk to you,” he said. “So it’s great to see the new, fresher messaging and Infoblox has a tremendous value proposition there.”

Rick Luttrell, president of Connect Tech West, a networking solutions VAR, said Infoblox has a “great story” around going to the cloud.

“I really wanted to see where the company’s going, hear the Infoblox story,” he said. “It was great to see the presentation about rebranding. That’s been really needed because you walk into some shops and either they haven’t heard of Infoblox or they think of them as DDI; they don’t know that they do all of these other things, too.”

Kelly Miller, Infoblox‘s director of Americas channel, said when partners ask “why Infoblox,” “it’s not just the focus on technology and partner program, but also the focus on doing more with less with our resellers, being more strategic with those resellers who are doing business with us today.”

“When we talk about next-level partnering, for us at Infoblox it’s also more about focus — and focusing on those strategic partners that understand our pitch and our value-add,” he said.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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