AvePoint Launches New Partner Program Aimed At Microsoft Teams, 365

Following the “software developer as toolsmith” partnering model, AvePoint is launching a program that will enable partners to create their own services and intellectual property (IP).

“The way we work will never be the same and it continues to evolve,” says Tianyi “TJ” Jiang, co-founder and CEO of AvePoint. “While collaboration within the cloud grows at an exceptional rate, the promise of digital transformation is only in its infancy.”

Jiang notes that as the largest Microsoft 365 data management solutions provider, “with two decades worth of reimagining how companies work, AvePoint is uniquely positioned to capitalize on this moment in time.”

AvePoint earlier this month combined with Apex Technology Acquisition Corp. and began trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AVPT.

“The future of work is hybrid, and AvePoint solutions for Microsoft 365 and Teams are transforming the ways in which people collaborate and get work done today,” said Casey McGee, Vice President of Global ISV Sales for Microsoft. “There are tremendous growth opportunities for partners like AvePoint who are enabling secure and compliant collaboration for businesses around the world.”

The business combination provides an influx of cash to drive accelerated investment in product innovation, channel marketing, international market expansion and customer success initiatives. The company remains debt-free and is now one of eight public software companies with at least $150 million in annual revenue, 25% YoY growth and a 10% EBITDA margin.

New Partner Program Began with a Blank Slate

AvePoint SVP of Global Channel & Partner Ecosystems Jason Beal talked about how excited he was to create the newly released AvePoint Partner Program starting with a blank slate. “I had the opportunity not to be beholden to legacy channel, partner programs, and particularly those that to your point were based on how much they resell, can they hit certain revenue thresholds, buy certain demo gear, and therefore have these metallic levels where basically the primary benefit is a few extra discount points,” he told Channel Insider.

Having spoken extensively with channel partners, he vows to keep this program simple, “built for the modern partner and the partner of the future.”

The AvePoint program is designed to serve the variety of partner types in the channel today, including those referring to themselves as “value-added resellers”, “managed service providers”, “cloud service providers”, “born in the cloud providers”, and similar. It also recognizes and serves those partners who wish to remain “non-transactional,” simply driving projects that require AvePoint products and services.

“And then there’s a set of partners,” explained Beal, “that are almost DevOps partners, ISVs in their own way, and they want to create their own IP for resale.”

The third guiding principle behind the program came from research on the total ecosystem economic opportunity, which projects that for every dollar of Microsoft revenue generated, partners also generate nine and a half dollars of ecosystem economic opportunity, according to IDC. AvePoint plans to represent a larger proportion of that nine and a half dollars for their partners,

Beal proudly adds, “When we bring the slide deck out for partners, our first slide asks them ‘how do you make money with us?’”

Beal acknowledges the product discounts, incentives, and success plan rebates AvePoint provides, but prefers to focus on the many managed service, professional service, and IP creation opportunities that partners can wrap around AvePoint’s products and services. “That’s our total ecosystem economic opportunity,” he said, “and we help you hit your Microsoft KPIs with your team’s adoption, consumption, and SMC market penetration.”

Collaboration Security

With everyone working from home, collaboration has become a big front-of-mind priority for every enterprise. The critical importance of security has exploded right along with it. AvePoint plans to bring the two together to create even more opportunity for partners.

“We’re defining a whole new category called ‘Collaboration Security’,” said Beal. “combining governance, access, control, and monitoring, secure migrations, backup and restore, BCDR teams, sprawl reduction, storage, duplication, reduction, and more.”

This is ideal in a time of vendor consolidation for partners and end users who want fewer point products, fewer individual vendor tools, preferring one comprehensive platform. AvePoint’s solution brings migration support, data backup and restore, cloud governance, access controls and monitoring.

To make it faster and easier to get started, AvePoint provides a lightweight version of governance they call Policies and Insights. “All the policies, permissions, external sharing, internal sharing, the monitoring, the  alerting, the prevention, all of that is built into the platform.”

Further reading: Aftermath of Kaseya Ransomware Attack Promises to Be Lengthy – And Costly

Automating Teams Adoption

A long-time provider of plug-ins and utility products supporting the Microsoft ecosystem, AvePoint focuses on helping drive adoption of Microsoft Teams. Two AvePoint products, AVA and MyHub, are built into Teams and provide automation reporting, machine learning, chat bonding, and more. Paperless processes that  AvePoint plugs right into. Said Beal, “We’re driving Teams adoption. They’re layering on our Policies and Insights specifying who has access to what documents and other services of value to clients.”

Beal cited the example of one partner whose client, a large consulting firm, is using Teams. Their challenge was that their internal helpdesk was receiving about 10,000 requests per week to create Teams sites, and couldn’t possibly fulfill them all.

“This partner is now designing a solution based on some of their technology and most of AvePoint’s technology,” said Beal. “As you know, we have a history in SharePoint where you had to create a bunch of sites and manage those sites. We have automation in AVA, a BI tool working on the back end to be able to automate the creation of those 10,000 sites with workflow to make sure they’re not creating unnecessary sites. Then they automate the workflow to get it set up for the users, and then add our Policies and Insight solution on top of that to assure they have the right policies and permissions at a document level.”

“So, the end customer is on Teams, getting 10,000 site building requests into the Help Desk every single week. If they have to create these things one at a time, they cannot do it. Then this AvePoint partner comes in and automates the whole thing. Makes them heroes.”

Further reading: The Key to Channel Growth: Working with Vendors to Create New Services

Howard M. Cohen
Howard M. Cohen is a 35+ year executive veteran of the Information Technology industry who writes for and about the IT channel. He’s a frequent speaker at IT industry events, including Microsoft Inspire, Citrix Synergy/Summit, ConnectWise IT Nation, ChannelPro Forums, Cloud Partners Summit, MicroCorp One-On-One, and CompTIA ChannelCon, and he frequently hosts and presents webinars for many vendors and publications.

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