RackWare, a provider of automated cloud management software, has formally launched its Channel Partner Program to expand and better support its service provider and VAR network globally.
Today, about 50 percent of the company’s revenue is derived from the channel. However, RackWare expects that percentage to increase to about 60 to 70 percent next year.
The company currently partners with approximately 20 global service providers or VARs. About half of them serve the North American market. A few of the company’s high-value partners include IBM SoftLayer, CenturyLink, QTS, Peer 1, OnRamp, Pea Soup, Entisys, MBS Tech Services and Networld.
RackWare is “not looking to push big numbers of partners,” said Eric Sherman, vice president of worldwide sales, RackWare. “We aren’t looking to have 1,200 partners worldwide. We are looking for the right number and mix of partners to support the business in the various territories while still being able to have close relationships with those partners and to make sure that the customers are successful in the projects and engagements that they are doing with us and the partners. Priority one for us is customer success.”
The partner program grew organically over the course of adding new customers and working with service provider customers, said Sherman. “Then we started to see a number of incoming requests from additional service providers and VAR partners.”
“It made perfect sense to wrap all of this activity into a formalized program that would allow us to give more and better support to our existing partners as well as solidify our strategy in regards to recruiting and how we scale things,” he added.
The partner program is not segmented by levels or tiers because the company is not at a point where it is needed. As the company starts to see some of the diversification in terms of revenue contributions and level of expertise of its partners over the next year or two, RackWare may decide to segment the program by tiers, “but for now, it would just add a lot of complexity and not a lot of value,” said Sherman.
Like many partner programs, RackWare’s program offers a number of services, including joint marketing, training, co-selling, as well as access to its resources and expertise. Level of support for these services as well as margin and discount levels depend on the revenue and commitment levels of the partner.
Benefits, particularly in terms of joint marketing, training and leveraging RackWare’s resources and expertise, increase as the partner’s revenue increases. “We want to make investments with our partners commensurate with the investment they want to make with us,” said Sherman.
RackWare’s automated cloud management solution, RackWare Management Module (RMM), is designed to enable enterprises to move their workloads seamlessly between private, public or hybrid cloud environments, while allowing them to expand and add cloud resources as needed. The latest version, RMM 3.0, now includes cloud disaster recovery functionality.
Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, specializes in technology and the channel.