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Offering its partners choice, Altaro, a virtual machine (VM) backup solution vendor for small and medium-size (SMB) businesses, on Tuesday formally announced VM Backup for MSPs, a recurring revenue channel program that will coexist with the vendor’s Altaro Partner Program.
The new MSP partner program has been in beta since September 2016 and has about 300 partners, with dozens signing up monthly, according to Stephen Chetchuti Bonavita, company co-founder and vice president of sales and marketing.
“The channel is key to our success. While this new program is separate from our existing partner program, it’s open to anyone, including current partners who participate in our margin-based perpetual licensing program. All they have to do is sign up,” Chetcuit Bonavita told us.
In fact, he noted that a number of Altaro’s current base of 6,000 partners, worldwide, are participating in both programs, reselling perpetual licenses. The new program is built for MSPs interested in monitoring and managing their customers’ Hyper-V and VMware backups from a single cloud console on a monthly subscription.
The recurring revenue program is designed to deliver predictable cash flow over time for MSP partners and reduces upfront costs with a pay-per-virtual-machine (VM) monthly model that provides access to all of the latest Altaro VM Backup features. Furthering its level of support for partners, Altaro has an expert-led call center and offers on-demand live chat with experts, the company said.
In 2016, Eric Krauss, vice president of sales, Americas, joined Altaro to help expand the company’s U.S. footprint. Altaro’s initial market focus was the EMEA region, with eventual organic growth in the Americas. At that time, less than half of the company’s business went through the channel.
Currently, about 1,500 of Altaro’s registered partners are in the U.S. and Canada, and 4,500 partners are located outside the U.S.
“Our goal is to dramatically change that and drive our business through the channel. We’re 100 percent committed to the channel,” Krauss said. The company is putting resources and programs in place to encourage rapid channel expansion and growth, he added.
These change efforts included a rebranding of an existing Altaro Partner Program. Today this program is tier based – Bronze, Silver and Gold – with 15 percent, 25 percent and 30 percent margins, respectively.
In general, Altaro has put in place several key pillars necessary for a successful channel program: profit margin (without conflict with distribution); a recurring revenue stream; a Cloud Management Console (CMC); deal registration; education and training; and resources such as discounts, support, communication, and events.
The CMC has been modified so partners can manage both perpetual licensing customers and MSP customers on a single platform.
“This piece is important because it allows the partner to manage via a single pane of glass, regardless of the type of product a partner is selling. And, it doesn’t just manage but it monitors the end-user environment,” said Krauss. Additional CMC functionality includes: updates, alerts, pushing out where data will be stored, etc., he added.
Altaro partners are managing the backups for 9,000 customer installations — with 50,000 VMs backed up monthly, the vendor said.