NaviSite's David Penny, recently appointed Regional Channel Director, is facing a channel challenge as VARs switch to the MSP model, consolidation of existing managed services providers continues, and new channels emerge using an agency model. “We have a range of tools to help channels of all types demonstrate the benefits of SaaS,” he tells IT Europa. And NaviSite is pushing its flexibility, enterprise-grade reliability and ease of use, partnering with the channel against the large global cloud providers.
In the US, where NaviSite has been picking up many of the new agents, a model using Master Agents has emerged, each with a number of smaller, linked entities working through them but there is little sign of that in Europe. It is a possible way for distributors to work, says Laurie Harvey, NaviSite's Channel Marketing Director.
The argument that the transition to the revenue model is too hard for salespeople does not follow, he argues. Once the salespeople realise they get a payment each month on existing business and so don't start with a clean slate every first of the month, they see how it works for them,
“We are talking to smaller resellers now who see the value in recurring revenue,” says David Penny. And there even are some larger resellers using the commission model and building up predictable incomes that way. Others are using a white-box package using their own logo, sometimes in combination with NaviSite's. His plan is for flexibility so that either the customer or the reseller can have control of the process, billing comes from the reseller if required, and a clear option to the large public models AWS and Azure is created with the emphasis on margins for the channel and management and control for the customer.
It is a journey for many, he says. In the UK, which is NaviSite's biggest market in Europe, and where it has its data centre, the priority types are those MSPs & referral partners, particularly from the converging IT and telco markets, but he also wants to develop existing partners by communicating the benefits of partnership, and share successes. MDF funds are available for specific partner campaigns to build suitable pipelines and develop joint go-to-market plans. It is not the idea to go and recruit hundreds of partners, but to be selective, he says and share the experience around, and have a good one-to-one relationship.
Eventually this model will take in the wider European market, which Laurie Harvey says is a microcosm of the US where the push to recruit MSPs has “done a good job to date”, and there is traction in the recruitment process.
Hear Navisite CTO David Grimes present at the European Software and Solutions Summit in London on April 14
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