…three partner tiers: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Gold and Platinum require both sales and technical sales certifications, all of which can be achieved online. The VIP Program is a selective program, in which partners may actively solicit Virtual Instruments for partner consideration. VI’s selection requirements are based on partner solution focus/competencies, alignment to partner’s existing line card, partner’s geographic reach and strategic intent to develop a VI business.
The VIP Program is unique in that it emphasizes increasing partner tier levels from net-new opportunity introductions. Unlike traditional supplier partner programs that place more emphasis on revenue attainment and certification levels, the VIP Program rewards partners for opening doors into net new VI accounts. In doing so, partners earn significantly higher discounts with partner originated deals vs. deals that VI originates and hands to a partner.
CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.
PB: Roughly 70 percent of VI’s revenue is driven through the channel. While we have well over 100 partners globally, we have made a concerted effort to focus on approximately 25. We find that concentrating our efforts benefits the VAR community in many tangible ways including, but not limited to, margin retention and customer intimacy. On average, the margin retained by the channel with VI solutions tends to be far greater than industry averages.
CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?
PB: There are many infrastructure monitoring tools that customers can choose from for their data centers. Nearly all are vendor-specific tools for storage, network, server and virtual machine performance and availability monitoring. Unfortunately, most data centers are extensively multivendor, highly virtualized and constantly changing. Silo-centric tools have three main problems. First, unlike VirtualWisdom, nearly all of them are not real-time. They are near-real-time at best, typically sampling the performance and health of their devices every few minutes. This is fine if your applications can be down for five to 10 minutes, but if not, real-time monitoring (to the micro-second) is essential.
Second, the silo-centric tools have no correlation capabilities or application context, which is critical in virtualized environments. When a device slows down or fails, IT teams immediately go into fire-fighting mode as they can’t relate applications to the specific components and can’t understand the interactions between the various components. Troubleshooting becomes a time-consuming trial-and-error process, often in a war room setting.
Third, silo-centric tools are not vendor-agnostic. They work well with one vendor, but can’t be used across vendors and products, which means expense-heavy tool sprawl that just complicates problem resolution. VirtualWisdom is a real-time, vendor-agnostic app-centric IPM solution that is purposely designed for data centers running business-critical applications.
CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?
PB: Virtual Instruments will continue to broaden its…