Disrupting the Balance

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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Postini competitors Proofpoint and MX Logic report a glut of Postini partners looking to migrate to their channel programs. 

Ken Totura, vice president of channel sales at MX Logic, another Postini competitor, said the number of calls inquiring about his company's channel program had definitely increased. Totura said MX Logic's go-to-market strategy was 100 percent channel from the start, and that the company had always had programs in place to transition partners from other vendors' offerings to MX Logic's.

"The partners who are calling us, who have always called us, find a very attractive program," he said. While he did not divulge details, Totura said there are several programs and strategies in place to ease partners' switchover to MX Logic products, services and the channel program, and that there have been for some time.

"We've had these tools and this planning in place for years," Totura said.

Totura said partners' reactions to the Google/Postini moves were not surprising given the close-knit nature of the channel community. Channel-friendly vendors, as well as small and large VARs all work together to support the channel ecosystem, he said, and are very attuned when a major player like Google disrupts the balance.

"The channel is very viral. [VARs] all talk to each other, and if there's a channel-friendly vendor or a channel-unfriendly vendor out there, they all know who to avoid," Totura said. He added that for MX Logic partners, the Google announcement cemented the value of channel partners in both customers' and vendors' minds.

Customers need to understand that the value of VARs is in the support and services they provide in addition to the products they resell, he said. Customers may not receive the same type and quality of service and support from a larger vendor that doesn't put much stock in the channel.

Vendors who alienate or withdraw support or revenue from their channel partners may pay the price as those partners who drove revenue to the vendor move to other, more channel-friendly companies, he said.

"It's easy to underestimate [channel partners], but their value proposition to the end customer, their reach, their points of presence are just incredible," he said.

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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