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xMatters—which recently unveiled the latest release of its On-Demand cloud platform for communications-enabled business processes for monitoring and alerting—is making moves to update its channel strategy to reflect the changing landscape in the monitoring industry, combined with enterprise’s move to hybrid IT environments.

As a result, xMatters is finding that it needs to change its partner strategy, which currently includes more than 40 channel and reseller partnerships worldwide. “The cloud has been the single biggest change that we’ve been working on over the last five years,” said Doug Peete, vice president of product management, xMatters. “It’s changed the way our customers do business and manage their own systems.”

“It’s not just that their systems are distributed in the cloud but the people are now located globally, and there are greater expectations now that incidents can seamlessly transition to on-call folks wherever they are located—in Germany, the United States or India. This is directly related to how the cloud has impacted daily work environments, the systems used, and the processes needed to keep them all running,” explained Peete.

The changing landscape requires a new approach to our partner program, said Randi Barshack, chief marketing officer, xMatters. “The kinds of partners we’ve traditionally worked with, while still extremely valuable and trusted partners, we find there is a whole new slew of partner opportunities out there.”

These include companies such as AppDynamics, New Relic and ScienceLogic—new companies that have been around for less than five years, she added. “They are up against the traditional monitoring solutions from HP, CA and BMC, but, in reality, for the large enterprise clients, they complement each other because so many enterprises have hybrid environments.”

This requires a different approach in the way they are monitored and looked at, and this new breed of enterprises will change the channel approach, explained Barshack. “Channel partners and the ecosystem of resellers around a solution look a little bit different than 20 years ago coming from legacy on-prem solutions.”

Partners that are more tightly aligned with traditional monitoring solutions are still very strong channel partners, but those will change and evolve, said Barshack. “We’ll start to see an evolution in channel providers that are really experts in providing solutions and bringing them together, and we’ll be a very important piece of the stack that they’ll be providing.”

Enhanced Collaboration

xMatter’s latest release includes enhanced collaboration features, a cloud-to-enterprise hybrid integration agent, as well as enhancements to executive and employee messaging. The update is aimed at quickly resolving business interruptions by having a system in place to find the right person to fix the problem as more automation results in more diversified IT infrastructures and more dispersed workforces.

This new release is designed to offer deeper collaboration and improve social capabilities for modern enterprise IT teams by providing two-way communications to relevant internal teams and external service providers. This ranges from assigning a service ticket to the on-call resolution team to setting up an instant conference bridge for all members of the on-call team.

“Over the years, we’ve been able to integrate tightly with all of the monitoring and ticketing solutions so that it’s now a full closed-loop process. We’ve automated what has traditionally been a very manual process during times of IT disruption or issues,” Barshack said.

“Fast forward, and we’re seeing that the problems have only gotten worse. IT departments are no longer the 200 guys working in the same basement in the server room. We see distributed architecture. Those monitoring systems have become more dispersed and distributed and the resolution teams you need to rally are more dispersed,” Barshack added.

Several new features address the need for stronger collaboration by streamlining the way users communicate during an incident as well as the growing issue around cloud security by providing the ability to integrate cloud systems from behind the firewall.

For example, the new Integration Agent enables the integration of xMatters’ intelligent communications with complementary applications, providing more security and reliability through firewalls. The cloud-to-software integration capabilities are valuable to larger enterprises running hybrid IT environments with legacy systems running behind the firewall that need to trigger communications to the xMatters cloud and require updates with delivery information, annotations and status updates, said the company.

Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, focuses on technology and the channel.