Hosted services firm VAR Dynamics to trim pricing to partners

New pricing, which takes effect September 1, is only for the P13 platform, the company’s newest, and is designed in part as an incent to get partners on older platforms to move their customers to the newest one.

Britt Von Roden 300

Britt Von Roden, VAR Dynamics’ CMO

Clearwater-based hosted services company VAR Dynamics has been restructuring itself to broaden out its offerings over the past year. In September it will take the next step, announcing new services, a new telco partnership, and kicking it all off, new pricing that takes effect September 1, 2015.

VAR Dynamics was founded twelve years ago as The Message Centre, and their bread and butter then was hosted Exchange, They have since transitioned into a more robust service offering, and a year ago, CEO Tony Francisco bought sole control of the company to accelerate this transition.

“This redefined what the company is as a click-to-provision hosted services partner, with a hosted platform that’s completely brandable by partners, not just for the logo, but for colours, and with an entire automated marketing and sales enablement,” said Britt Von Roden, VAR Dynamics’ CMO.

Before the transition, the company had a tiny number of telcos as its partner base. Now, they have over 400 partners, with four large telcos as well as additional smaller ones, and a large number of MSPs. They do have a Canadian partner presence, but are relatively stronger in the U.S.

“Our larger partners are telcos, but our control panel works well for MSPs as well, and we have seen a recent surge in MSP opportunities,” Von Roden said. Some of new arrivals are solution providers trying to figure out how to bring in cloud services and are looking for a platform to manage and support the cloud easily, and VAR Dynamics is also in conversations with some large cable companies who want to do everything from a single, easy-to-use platform.

This simplicity of doing business with VAR Dynamics, which their partners are able to pass through to their customers, is a major competitive advantage.

“There are no contracts or commitments and a 60 second signup,” Von Roden said. “Partners are able to provision their customers in less than six minutes. This very fast turnaround capability has driven our recent strong organic growth.”

Von Roden said this click-to-provision capability is unique in the industry.

“No one else can do that,” she said. “In addition, we are not a marketplace, that is just a shopping mechanism that doesn’t actually provision the service. We provision everything straight from our platform and all our vendors are integrated into our infrastructure.” Their services now, in addition to hosted email, include collaboration, security, backup and disaster recovery, and mobility offerings, with more to come.

Von Roden said the price cuts are necessary to be competitive in a market where Microsoft is able to charge rock-bottom prices for Office 365, even though no one really wants to be part of a race to the bottom in pricing.

“The negative is the challenge of the market, but realistically, we won’t beat Microsoft in selling Office 365. It’s the same service. But it’s not about the services anymore.”

Von Roden, a Millenial who comes from a cohort where automation and experience are highly valued, stressed that these things are what customers want today.

“It comes down to the experience, making it as easy as possible, and providing a positive outcome,” she said.

The new pricing is still slightly higher than Microsoft’s, but is designed to be simpler, Von Roden said.

“Our automation tools are also built in to the price,” she added.

VAR Dynamics is able to lower prices on all their services because the new tools saves money. Von Roden also said that they are working on deals with hardware vendors who want to be able to sell cloud like Microsoft, to advertise on VAR Dynamics’ platform and reach their partner audience.

The price cuts, which take effect September 1, are only for the P13 platform, the most modern of the three that VAR Dynamics has. The original P7 platform had the original services, and many partners still use the older platform. Thus, the new pricing is also a gentle nudge to encourage partners who haven’t moved to the state of the art platform to do so.

“Partner migration to P13 is optional, but unless they are on P13, they won’t be able to consume the new pricing,” Von Roden said. “It’s a simple migration.”

In addition to the new pricing, additional services are being integrated into the portfolio, and a new partnership with a large telco will be announced soon at the Cloud Partners Conference & Expo, which begins September 16.