Latisys Rolls Out Cloud Services to Channel

IT outsourcing company Latisys is set to launch its cloud services, and with a rebranded channel initiative, Pathways Partner Program.

The company’s new cloud services will be commercially available April 2, but will debut at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 26-29, in Las Vegas, along with the new channel program.

Latisys’ cloud services are the newest addition to the company’s IT outsourcing services continuum, which starts with colocation, managed services (e.g., load balancing, firewall, security, storage, etc.), managed hosting and ends with infrastructure-as-a-service.  

Mark Mercado, director of the partner program, said the portfolio enables Latisys to engage customers at multiple levels from colo to cloud, including hybrid offers where some assets are dedicated, some are virtualized and some are in the cloud. The Pathways Partner moniker is emblematic of Latisys’ approach to IT outsourcing, Mercado said. "It’s not about selling colo or cloud," he said. "It’s about empowering partners to take a solutions focus."

While many other colo providers offer cloud services, what makes Latisys unique is that it actually conforms to the definition of a cloud service, said Jonathan Sharp, Latisys’ vice president of marketing. That means it’s provisioned on-demand, it’s elastic (it can be spun up or down), it’s pay-as-you-go all through self-service. But, he added, its unlike a public cloud offer with these qualities in that it’s private (members only) and includes the security and performance businesses require for production environments.

In addition, the service offers three levels of QoS assigned to different resource pools so that customers can choose the level required for each application. Premium, for example, is always reserved and available.

Mercado and Sharp are evangelizing an integrated approach to IT outsourcing, including cloud, that they think will resonate with the channel "The idea of an end-to-end-solution is critical for [partners]," Sharp said. "Our ability to help them check multiple boxes without engaging another vendor is a win-win."

Latisys’ channel program started in 2009 about the same time the company rebranded from Managed Data Holdings. Mercado said the program was operated off the radar, selectively recruiting partners that were "ahead of the curve" in moving from a transaction-based to solutions-based model. Presently, it supports 75 partners about a third telecom agents and the rest systems integrators and IT VARs.

After a few years working the kinks out, Latisys is prepared for a more public recruitment effort. It has invested in three additional channel managers to support agents on a regional basis West, East and Midwest.

The program is built around channel integration with the direct sales team. Mercado said the company is behind the "sell with" model, providing the same pre- and post-sales support to direct and indirect. In addition, it requires partners to register opportunities to avoid conflict with other partners.

Partners can opt to be referral partners and receive a one-time payment equal to a percentage of the contract value. To earn recurring payments, partners must dedicate personnel to selling Latisys resources, become certified and engage in quarterly planning.

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