**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**
Altaro Software may not be the best-known name in VM-based backups, but it recently announced 40 percent year-over-year revenue growth as its user base topped 40,000 customers, so it’s worth a look for resellers and MSPs serving Altaro’s target small and midsize enterprise market. While not yet 100-percent channel in the United States, that’s the company’s goal; it now has 7,000 partners globally offering Altaro VM Backup, which protects more than 400,000 Hyper-V and VMware virtual machines.
We caught up with U.S. VP of sales and channel veteran Eric Krauss to talk about Altaro’s focus on ease of use and cost efficiency — two critical factors for SMEs.
Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?
Eric Krauss: It all comes down to the support; that’s our secret sauce! Of course, we deliver top-quality products as well, but that does not mean much without delivering outstanding technical support and customer service. Being able to quickly and efficiently respond to our channel partners via phone, email or live chat is invaluable in helping our partners quickly resolve situations with their customers. Altaro is so committed and feels so confident in our support and customer service practice that our CEO, David Vella, offers his direct line on our support page to ensure that we continue to monitor our support program to maintain this high level of service as we grow. Partners like to work with vendors they trust, and if the technology is rock solid and the support is top-notch, then you have a winning partnership.
CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?
EK: Our channel program was created with one goal in mind: to help our partners become more successful in growing their backup storage and managed-services business. With that as our starting point, we worked backward to develop key program objectives that help to accomplish that goal. A few of the objectives include:
Our partner program consists of three tiers (Bronze, Silver and Gold) for resellers and an MSP-specific track for our new dedicated MSP partners. Each tier offers an increased level of discount as well as a greater opportunity for marketing and lead sharing. All our partner levels have access to …