MxToolBox Unshaken by Postini FalloutBy Sharon Linsenbach | Print
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Eric Rachal, CEO of MxToolBox, a Postini VAR, says he isn't disconcerted by the changes in Postini's channel policies.
While many VARs try to distance themselves from Postini's new channel policies, the head of one VAR that partners with the company says he's exactly where he wants to be.
Eric Rachal, founder and CEO of MxToolBox, said his company was one of the few large Postini VARs that continued to purchase Postini's services directly from the company.
In February, Google and Postini sparked controversy by pushing most Postini VARs, many of which are small and midsize businesses, to purchase Postini's e-mail security services through distribution or directly from Google at severely reduced prices.
"We are focusing [in the] long term on our core competency, which is delivering e-mail hygiene, services and support," Rachal said. He said while the shakeup in the e-mail security market is a bit disconcerting for VARs that derived most of their business from Postini's products and services, the moves by Google and Postini were unlikely to eradicate channel partners altogether, especially those who serviced the lucrative SMB market.
As the demand for managed services grows, VARs like his will continue to play a key role in driving widespread adoption of new technology, especially for SMBs, Rachal said.
"It's very costly for these big companies to acquire SMB customers directly, and that's why the IT channel exists," he said. The trick for VARs and MSPs (managed services providers) is to remember that their first concern should be adding value for their customers and making technology decisions based on customers' needs, he said.
"We look at a customer opportunity and figure out what the best choices are for our customers," Rachal said, adding that remaining 'monogamous' with one vendor wasn't always a smart choice for a VAR, especially in a highly commoditized market.
"We don't compete on price; in fact, we're much higher priced than most of our competitors and our customers know that," he said. MxToolBox's value, Rachal said, is that hosted e-mail services address a major SMB pain point, which makes the price worth it to his customers. "You can match desktop e-mail functionality in a Web browser now, and the hassle of maintaining infrastructure is maddening!"
Even SMB customers have multigigabyte mailboxes and terabytes of data and there's value in service providers that can manage and maintain all of that data, Rachal said.