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SolarWinds would like to remind solution providers that it blows a friendly breeze.

The network management software company, which was founded in 1998,
is reaffirming its commitment to the channel through a number of
announcements touting its new and existing partnerships with various
entities including Software House International, Programmer’s Paradise,
PC Mall and Lifeboat Distribution.

“In general we’ve had longstanding relationships with our channel
partners and now, in 2009, we believe it’s important to talk about
those partners in an effort to strengthen our relationship,” said
Justin Endres, vice president of North American sales at SolarWinds.

Although a relatively minor player in the channel space, Austin,
Texas-based SolarWinds is known for its Orion family of products,
including the Orion Network Performance Monitor and Orion Network
Configuration Manager (NCM), its multivendor network configuration and
change management solution. The company has customers ranging from SMB
to large enterprise, and cites its low cost, downloadability and ease
of use as major benefits.

“For the past eight, 12, 20 years, network management systems
traditionally have overpromised and underdelivered because of their
complexity. For us, however, the upfront cost and initial training are
not as great for our channel partners or our customers because our
products are easier to learn,” Endres said. “And because we are so
affordable, it becomes more a transactional sale.”

SolarWinds Redefines Network Configuration Management

SolarWinds has entered into an agreement with Lifeboat Distribution,
a specialty software distributor for virtualization and other
technically sophisticated products, whereby Lifeboat will resell all of
the SolarWinds product line, including the Orion family; ipMonitor, its
entry-level network monitoring solution; and its Engineer’s Toolset of
network management, monitoring and troubleshooting applications.

In addition, SolarWinds is deepening its existing relationships by
increasing the level of integration with its partners, including
establishing co-branded sites to provide deep product information.
“We’re making a large investment with out team for awareness and
enablement,” Endres noted.

“We really haven’t been able to give credit to the channel,” he
added. “One of the things we’re trying to do is essentially make sure
they know we want to help them raise their awareness.”

Endres pointed to the midmarket as SolarWinds’ sweet spot, and said
the company’s products are gaining even more ground as they are built
out and more features been brought to the products. “So enterprises
that have been using our products on a department level are now looking
at using us company-wide,” he said.

That’s good news to SHI, a Piscataway, N.J., solution provider that renewed its partnership with SolarWinds.

“We think SolarWinds’ solutions are exactly the blend of features
and ease-of-use that our customers are looking for,” said Ed McNamara,
communications and marketing manager at SHI.