German network monitoring firm Paessler strengthening North American channel

Paessler is seeing a significant increase in its North American channel business, and this year plans to improved MSP support, enhance their channel program, and make a deeper push into the Canadian channel.

Andrew Cutting Paessler slider

Andrew Cutting, Channel Sales Manager for Paessler in North America

Nuremburg Germany-based network monitoring company Paessler has been in business since 1997 and established a presence in North America several years ago. Its North American channel grew significantly last year and strengthening it further remains a priority for this year, including increasing its Canadian partner base.

Paessler’s flagship product is PRTG Network Monitor, an easy to use and highly scalable monitoring solution that sells pretty much up and down the market, from smaller businesses to enterprises, although the enterprise deployments are typically at the departmental level.

“We are able to serve the whole market, from the smallest customers to the largest, because we are feature-complete at every licensing level,” said Andrew Cutting, Channel Sales Manager for Paessler in North America. “There are no add-on modules to buy if they decide later they want to monitor additional things. That licensing structure is important, because it means the customer only pays to scale.

“For a long time, our target market was SMB, but now we have 70 per cent of the Fortune 100 as customers,” he added.

Paessler also competes on price, with their offering often coming in at a significantly lower price than many competitors.

“In some ways, one of our challenges is being so affordable,” Cutting said. “Some of our competitors are six figure solutions, while we can do it for one tenth of the cost.”

Cutting also indicated that customers often look at them because they are using a competitor tool they are not happy with, usually because it is too complicated. Paessler works with customers as closely as they do with partners, and offers trial licenses at no cost.

Paessler has a hybrid go-to market model.

“We have never had a direct sales force in North America, but we do have a website and sell PRTG there,” Cutting said. When Paessler started in North America five years ago, the website was their primary sales focus, but about a year later they began building up a channel component, to tap into the channel partners’ customer relationships. Today, slightly less than 50 per cent of their North American business goes through the channel, and that number is on the increase. They have more than 400 partners in North America, most in the U.S. but with some in Canada. 64 new North American partners were added last year. The amount of business being done through the channel also grew significantly last year, with North American reseller sales growing 116 per cent. They use Lifeboat and SYNNEX for their distribution here, and also deal direct with some partners, both large and small.

“DMRs are a big part of the go-to-market strategy, because they have a large customer base and good brand recognition,” Cutting said. “We also have significant numbers of VARs and MSPs.”

Going forward, Cutting said improving Paessler’s MSP support is a priority.

“We don’t have a subscription-based model for MSPs, and instead have been offering them relatively inexpensive unlimited licenses,” Cutting said. “However a lot of MSPs have been asking about subscription-based, and we are hearing those requests and taking them seriously. We are designing a model that is more conducive for our MSP partners, which will be a subscription- based model of something similar.”

Enhancing the partner program is another priority.

“There are some exciting changes coming there in the next 6-12 months,” Cutting said. “We are streamlining it and making it more attractive.”

Last, and certainly not least, Paessler plans to ramp up its channel presence in Canada this year.

“Canada has been coming on strong for us, although a large majority of our partners in North America are in the U.S.,” Cutting said. “Canada is a big focus for us this year, penetrating the Canadian channel market more and understanding the difference there between the U.S and Canadian markets. You will be seeing a lot more of us in Canada.”