Thinking of the Channel First

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Posted 2008-05-14 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

When Google slashed Postini prices, partners revolted. So why are MXLogic partners so happy with price cuts from their vendor of choice?

 

"More important than the details of the bundles themselves, given the recent channel turmoil with Google, is to show that we’re taking a much more partner-friendly approach to introducing changes by engaging with partners first," the MXLogic spokesperson said. 

The alternative would be to announce the bundles simultaneously to partners and customers, or to announce to the channel first but without sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the new products, which creates a "blindside" scenario that MXLogic partner South Seas Solutions vice president of sales Paul Herbka says he's all too familiar with.

"That has happened to us before with other vendors, honestly," Herbka says. "We want vendor partners who work with us, to keep us abreast of changes and let us know so our customers aren't reading about offerings or changes and asking us about them and we're blindsided!"

One of the biggest changes introduced with the three new bundles is a cost reduction.  The Complete Security bundle is available for $7.70 per user per month; the E-mail Security & Archiving bundle is $5.75 per user per month and the E-mail and Web Security bundle is $2.82 per user per month.

When Google announced it was cutting prices on its Powered by Postini e-mail and Web security services, it caused an uproar among Postini channel partners.  But the issue wasn't as much about pricing as it was about the way the changes were communicated to partners.  Presley says MXLogic's flexibility and advance notice gave him the opportunity to explore and analyze how the pricing changes would affect him and his customers.

"It's a really nominal fee to get a tremendous amount of protection.  We appreciated the opportunity to examine how this would affect our margins first, and explore different options as to what services we can or can't provide on top of these offerings," he says.

Herbka predicts the new bundles will be popular with customers.  The bundles add more services and additional layers of protection that his customers had been asking him for, and MXLogic allows him to migrate customers to the new services at his own pace rather than forcing customers to upgrade if they weren't ready, he says.

"I think most of our customers will switch, but some will stay, at least until their next budgeting cycle," Herbka says, adding that lower cost is a huge motivator both for encouraging current customers to upgrade as well as attracting new business. But what he most appreciates is MXLogic's effort to communicate openly and to remain flexible.

"They thought of the channel first, and that's huge for us.  They communicated with the channel first, made sure we had all the information, and had all our questions answered before they talked to the end users," he says.

 
 
 
 
Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.
 
 
 
 
 
























 
 
 
 
 
 

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