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‘7 Minutes’ with Nerdio EVP of Channel Sales and Business Development Paul Guerin

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… their business strategy. It is estimated that Microsoft alone is adding as many as 50,000 new Office 365 users a month! The question, though, is not only how to migrate their customers to the cloud, but how to do so profitably. Many cloud services, like backup and IaaS, have already been commoditized, and margins are low. This is where a comprehensive offering like ITaaS can be strategically advantageous.

CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

PG: Our Nerdio for Private Cloud partner program is specifically crafted to alleviate the challenges facing MSPs in today’s market of lower margins, higher operating costs and demanding clients. We don’t just want to enhance what they’re doing with the Nerdio platform, but empower them both with high margins and additional revenue-generating consulting services opportunities. Additionally, both Nerdio Private Cloud and Nerdio for Azure have, as a key objective, lowering the bar on the complexity and technical skills needed to deploy an advanced cloud service such as virtual desktops.

The most unique thing about our partner program is the completely personalized array of marketing and sales support services at no extra charge. We offer each of our MSPs a customized program to suit their needs, which includes everything from email marketing and case-study creation to product training and go-to-market strategic counseling. Nerdio partners also get exclusive access to the Nerdio Partner Portal, which has deal-registration functionality along with a variety of ready-made marketing, sales and technical collateral.

The program is definitely selective, and while we don’t currently have a certification program, we are planning to develop one down the line as a benefit to our partners.

CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

PG: Forecast that 75 percent of new sales will be through channel in 2017. In terms of number of partners, being cognizant of the 80-20 rule, we tend to be very selective. As such, we’re not looking to sign up a high volume of partners, but rather the right partners — both in terms of MSPs/CSPs and distributors. Average margin for our managed-services partners, for example, is a very healthy 47 percent.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

PG:  When it comes to Nerdio for Private Cloud, there are many seeming competitors who offer piece parts such as VDI, DaaS, monitoring or BDR. The difference is that we enable a complete IT-as-a-service and there are few players who are in this emerging space — itopia, CloudJumper, and IndependenceIT come to mind. There are of course others who target the enterprise space, but our sweet spot is the underserved small- and medium-size business (SMB) space — and we do this through our managed-services partners.

With Nerdio for Azure, there are again only seeming competitors — MyCloudIT being the closest to one. The real competition of sorts is inertia in some organizations, particularly managed-services providers, who either would rather do things old-school or are still waiting for …

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