X1, Ingram Micro Deal Signals New Sales Strategy
By Gina Roos
X1 Discovery has inked a deal with Ingram Micro's Advanced Computing Division to sell X1's enterprise search and e-discovery solutions through its aggregator DistiNow, targeting midmarket customers. The alliance marks an important step in the company's transition from direct sales to a reseller channel program.
X1 Discovery has been selling its solutions direct for several years and is currently transitioning to the channel, said David Petty, vice president of sales, X1 Discovery. "We are 100 percent channel for everything in the midmarket tier and down, and our desktop product is sold 100 percent through the channel," he said.
X1 has about 25 channel partners. Prior to the partnership with Ingram Micro, X1's channel partners "were very one-offs," Petty said, "and except for a handful, they were primarily overseas."
The partnership will focus on the sales and distribution of the X1 Rapid Discovery product through Ingram Micro's channel partners in the United States, but X1's complete portfolio will be available through the reseller channel. DistiNow's role is to serve as a contract vehicle, "working hand-in-hand with Ingram Micro to speed up the on-boarding process into its systems."
The Rapid Discovery product is an enterprise search and e-discovery solution that enables businesses of all sizes to identify, search and act on distributed data. The Web browser provides a single "pane of glass" to view all enterprise information, supporting more than 500 applications and file types.
The solution can fully operate in virtualized environments, Petty said, and that was a significant driver behind the move to partner with Ingram Micro, which is the sole North American distributor of Citrix Systems.
"This is all about Ingram Micro and getting access to their partners because our product has a huge Citrix play," he said. "We solve the search problem within Citrix environments, so resellers can add our product to large Citrix deployments."
The solution, which can index and search in virtualized environments on demand, addresses the need for desktop and enterprise search solutions that work in virtual data centers. The data center appliance market is expected to reach $4 billion in 2017, driven by "the accelerated adoption of virtual appliances in production networks and cloud environments," according to a recent Dell'Oro Group report.
The solution benefits resellers in several ways, including reoccurring revenue opportunities with healthy margins and re-engagement with current customers with a value- or add-on solution, said Petty.
X1's enterprise and desktop products have support contracts, which remain with channel partners with ongoing revenue in the neighborhood of 20 percent of the initial license amount. "There are also term solutions that have very large ongoing lease fees that will continue to go through the channel," Petty said.
The partnership also drives new sales through joint marketing. As an example, Ingram Micro introduced X1 to a Mid-Atlantic value-added reseller about 90 days ago, and they already have closed a significant transaction worth more than $30,000 in margins. In addition, there are five more in the pipeline, each worth more than $20,000 in margins.
"Ingram Micro was able to make the introduction and perform the services of a matchmaker," said Petty. "That's the kind of targeted marketing you want."
Gina Roos, a contributing writer for Channel Insider, specializes in technology and the channel.