Migration vendor Metalogix looks to enhance channel appeal with formalized partner program

Metalogix built up a strong business on a model where the channel business was limited and basically transactional. The company has now implemented a more complex go-to-market model in which an expanded channel with practices around migration is a key part.

Mike Lees, CMO, Metalogix

Mike Lees, Metalogix’s Chief Marketing Officer

TORONTO — Today, in conjunction with the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference here where it is present, Metalogix is announcing massive changes to its partner program. These essentially transform the program, from a very general program which reflected the channel’s minor role in Metalogix’s go-to-market strategy, into a formalized, tiered program designed to provide much stronger support to partners, particularly in building their own practices around migration.

Metalogix makes cloud management software that migrates, manages and secures content across enterprise collaboration platforms. While they built up a strong business with good quarterly growth, it was basically by using a transactional business model.

“As the migration market got more sophisticated over the last few years, it became obvious that our product set and our go-to-market model had to grow to encompass these changes,” said Mike Lees, Metalogix’s Chief Marketing Officer. This became policy following Metalogix’s acquisition by a private equity company in March 2015. That led to a significant transformation of the executive team, in which Lees, who joined the company in January, was part of the change.

“The acquisition led to a fundamental rethinking of our go-to-market strategy,” Lees said.

On the solution side, it has meant a broadening out from the core migration product to a lifecycle approach, which includes  backup and storage management, diagnostics, and security, compliance and governance.

“The latter is more recent and our big play going forward,” Lees said.

In terms of how Metalogix takes the solutions to market, that has broadened out as well.

“We now go to market in three flavours,” Lees said. “We still use our traditional transactional model, which has a little lower selling price. We are also expanding our own sales force and putting new DNA in the sales team to go after and work with those big strategic accounts. This is our Strategic Business Solutions Group.

The third go-to-market mechanism is their channel business, except that they are now encouraging a model where partners can work with Metalogix to develop practices around migration. While Metalogix has a fair number of channel partners – about 350 – that business has also been transactional.

“Our channel business has been in the 25 to 30 per cent range, but we are in the process of moving it to 50 per cent and beyond,” Lees said. “We believe this is fundamentally a channel business going forward. We believe that we are uniquely positioned to satisfy the channel, given that our competitors are focused on the lower end of the market, or do their own services, which the channel would rather do themselves.”

The changes to the Metalogix Advantage Partner Program (MAPP) are designed to empower the more focused channel that the company wants in its new strategy. While the company is describing the program as ‘enhanced,’ a more accurate term would appear to be ‘rebooted.’

“It’s not really even accurate to describe the program as a single tier program before,” Lees said. “There wasn’t really tiering. We just worked with partners on an opportunistic basis. This is a formalization of our partner strategy. We are focused on helping partners truly build a solution set that maximizes partner margin and gives them much faster times to market. We are also tiering our partners, and structuring the program to invest more in our more strategic partners. We are doubling down at the top of the pyramid.”

That strategy is reflected in the program’s two-tier structure. The Standard Partner Tier gets basic benefits, including access to the portal and training, and margin on referral and reselling fees. The higher tier MAPP level, on the other hand, adds stronger benefits, including joint business plans, enhanced partner support, and most importantly of all, access to Metalogix’s new Business-in-a-Box.

The Business-in-a-Box is a toolkit which Metalogix believes contains all the critical information, training and content an SI needs to establish and maintain a repeatable and profitable data migration practice. It includes access to what the company terms Content Matrix – sales and technical fundamentals to simplify the planning, migration and management process for SharePoint and Office 365. It also includes a sample statement of work, a sample project plan, pre-migration assessment and analysis tools and guidelines, and sample code and scripts.

Lees said the Business-in-a-Box takes the experiences that a small number of advanced partners – like Microsoft Consulting Services – have learned and productized them.

“We take these experiences – minus the partners’ own intellectual capital – and make it easier for other partners to do the same thing, including taking our APIs and building scripts on top of them,” he stated. He emphasized this would have value for almost all partners, save those whose customers are quite small.

Lees also indicated that the Business-in-a-Box concept will eventually be built out to the other areas beyond migration where the company has moved.

“We will be building out the partner program around all the solutions that we have, with the same Business-in-a-Box concept for these other areas,” he said.

“We’ve been a pretty horizontal company, but as we get more into security governance and compliance, we work more with vertically focused partners in areas like HIPAA compliance, where partners have a lot of expertise we don’t have. So we will tailor things to make it easy for them to have a HIPAA compliance solution. Verticalize would be the wrong word. We won’t deliver vertically focused solutions out of the box. But we will work with partners to make to easy for them to take our solution into specific verticals.”

Metalogix is at WPC this week.

“At WPC, we will socialize this to as broad an audience as possible,” Lees said.