Knowledge Vault Launches Channel ProgramBy Gina Roos | Print
Startup Knowledge Vault delivers a value-added service to channel partners that sell the Microsoft Office 365 application suite.
Knowledge Vault, which officially launched its cloud-based auditing, reporting and management platform in December 2014, recently unveiled a channel program.
Initially targeting the Microsoft Office 365 application suite, the new program provides licensing for value-added resellers (VARs), IT consulting firms and managed service providers (MSPs), helping them generate new revenue by providing analytics, auditing and reporting functionality for cloud-based content via a single platform.
The Azure-based platform provides visibility and control to manage and report on Microsoft Office 365 and Exchange activities as well as track product licensing. This enables channel partners to deliver information about all aspects of the client's cloud-based mail and storage systems, while simplifying the entire process through an easy-to-use interface.
Partners can also manage all of the company's clients from a single pane of glass. A key feature of the platform is the built-in rebranding functionality that allows VARs and MSPs to rebrand and automate value-added Office 365 services.
The product is a simple add-on service for the partners. It's all SaaS-based so there is no on-premise component required, and it provides an easy-to-use user interface with guidance for the user. Professional pricing starts at $0.25 per user per month. Discounts are available to partners.
The two-tiered partner program is segmented by resellers and distributors, and MSPs and IT consulting firms. Knowledge Vault currently has 10 partners globally: four in North America, and the others in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Israel and Japan. The company offers a single partner portal because there aren't a lot of architecture information and installation requirements to get partner teams up to speed. A trial and demo environment is available at the Website that allows partner sales to demo the service to their end customers.
Knowledge Vault touts the platform as a value-added service to help channel partners maintain customer relationships as more companies move to the cloud. As software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers sell their cloud content and email sharing directly to the customer using Web portals and online management capabilities, the challenge for partners is keeping that customer relationship, said Christian Ehrenthal, CEO and co-founder, Knowledge Vault. "That is a relationship challenge and a value challenge that a lot of partners are having with many of these new cloud services that are being adopted by their customer base."
Knowledge Vault is focused on providing a deep level of visibility—all the reporting and analytics—back to organization around those new cloud services, said Ehrenthal. It could be for operational purposes, security teams and for auditing and compliance, but it's all about providing that visibility back to all these different stakeholders, he added.
A few key features, targeted at partner challenges, include a chargeback capability as well as the ability to run and retain reports for a long period of time. "One of the challenges is that customers don't know what kind of data they want to collect so we collect everything. It provides the flexibility and visibility that our partners are looking for," said Ehrenthal.
"If an MSP wants to provide this information to their customer for automatic delivery as a value-added service, we provide that capability. It's not just reselling but helping them provide that higher added value of service to help retain that relationship with the customer that they are afraid of losing. It allows them to establish that relationship with the customer," said Ehrenthal. "A lot of partners are hearing from platform providers that they are going to be friendly with partners, but they are wary that, over time, these providers will start to push the partners out and go directly to the customer base," he added.
While Knowledge Vault is focused on Office 365 due to "high-velocity demand," other connectors are in the pipeline, including Dropbox, Box and Salesforce. An on-premise connector is available for partners helping customers migrate to Office 365.
Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, focuses on technology and the channel.