ChannelEyes Wants to Be Facebook for the Channel

By Jessica Davis

ChannelEyes LLC, a new social network for IT solution providers and channel vendors is making its existence known this weekend at the SMB Nation event in Las Vegas where founders will be handing out postcards inviting channel players to sign up.  

The new social network is expected to debut by the end of this year and is billed as the "first free and secure social network to aggregate channel program information." It’s the creation of Bob Godgart, Autotask co-founder, who recently resigned from his position leading that company to start up this new one.  Godgart is also the chairman of CompTIA. The ChannelEyes network is intended to transform communication between suppliers, channel partners, dealers and agents, according to a statement issued by the organization to announce itself.

In discussions with hundreds of channel partners ChannelEyes founders learned that only 5 percent use vendor portals and less than 17 percent open vendor emails.

"This is a big problem!" Godgart said in a statement. "ChannelEyes is going to fix that. What Facebook did for collaboration among friends, ChannelEyes will do for business."

ChannelEyes has secured backing from "leading vendors, associations and major VARS," according to the organization, but stopped short of naming them and instead promised announcements in the coming weeks.

"For all types of channel partners, ChannelEyes.com will be the single place to see a snapshot of new channel information every day. Partners can control the programs they need to follow, filter the information they want to share and easily built conversations around it," according to the statement.

Godgart’s vision, he said, is to create a "ridiculously simple and secure way to engage all channel partners."

He is doing that with the help advisor, Jay McBain, who resigned from Autotask in September and also with the help of ChannelEyes CTO David Geoghegan.

"Business social applications go beyond simple sharing to create an industry focused, secure environment where information is filtered reaching the right person at the right time," Geoghegan said.

ChannelEyes wouldn’t be the first organization looking to create a social network for the channel. Others, including PartnerPedia have created such networks. Xeequa was initially planned to do the same kind of thing as ChannelEyes, but later morphed into Xeeme. And IBM recently announced that it would effectively been shutting down its InfoBoom community for midmarket customers and partners and moving the relevant content to the appropriate social networks including LinkedIn.

This article was originally published on 2011-09-30