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‘7 Minutes’ with Aviatrix CEO Steve Mullaney

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… MSPs, consultants and systems integrators who are helping mid and large enterprises with their cloud and digital transformation. I always like to mention that we are interested in true partners, not resellers. Our partners have had a lot to do with shaping our program, including the following features:

  • Co-marketing funds: Aviatrix provides joint funding and execution of marketing programs to drive co-selling and revenue.
  • Certification training for approved partners: The Aviatrix Certified Expert training program is a more formal multicloud network and security certification for partners, system integrators and customers. The ACE program – managed by a dedicated team at Aviatrix – provides ongoing education to enable architects, engineers and technical staff to develop advanced competencies in native cloud capabilities and Aviatrix offerings while providing a framework for applying these learnings to meet customer requirements. The ACE certification includes three levels – associate, professional and design architect – and consists of both classroom style education, self-paced learning, and real-world experience with customers.
  • Deal registration: Enables members of Aviatrix partner organizations to easily register a new opportunity with Aviatrix and in return receive solution architect support, sales support and deal protection.
  • Monthly “First Friday” training: These sessions cover tips and tricks, new product features, design patterns and customer learnings.
  • Technical and sales support: Access to Aviatrix technical experts and sales as needed for delivering a better customer experience.
  • Aviatrix executive access: Our partner management teams (CEO, sales, marketing and technical) are formally introduced to their Aviatrix Executive counterparts to ensure alignment and joint goals.
  • Not-for-resale software: Aviatrix Controller and Gateway offerings provided to partners for internal use, lab environments and customer demonstration purposes.

CP: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

SM: We are growing our channel program. Today we have fewer than 30 partners and are looking to expand with enterprise-focused channel partners. Again, we are interested in closely partnering with these organizations with a focus on helping mid to large organizations execute their cloud and digital transformation. The majority of our new enterprise customers are won with our partners — some of whom resell our software and some whom are recommending, but not reselling, Aviatrix as part of their cloud transformation practices.

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

SM: The competition today is typically a DIY solution based on the native capabilities from cloud providers such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. The challenge is that these networking solutions are often manually deployed, often have inherent functional limitations, and can be complex to operate, especially as virtual private cloud counts and the number of cloud accounts within the organization grow.

Most importantly, these solutions aren’t built from a multicloud perspective and many of our enterprise customers are executing a multicloud strategy; in fact, I have not yet met an enterprise that plans to only use one cloud. And these customers are starting to realize that the constructs, the naming conventions, the limitations – everything about the way these public clouds work – are different from one another. Aviatrix abstracts the customer from having to understand all this. We deal with it so they don’t have to, but we do it in a way that leverages all the great underlying constructs that AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform have built — all the fiber, PoPs, VPC constructs, regions, accounts and so much more.

Most other approaches aren’t dealing with the customer problems in the same way we are. For example, the first thing enterprises are saying is, “AWS is a shared responsibility model for security, so how do we bring our next-generation firewall policies into the cloud with us?” If I’m a Palo Alto Networks customer, the first thing I want to do is …

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