SmartFile enhances channel program in push to expand enterprise channel business

Tyler Snetselaar has been named Director of Strategic Alliances and Channel Partnerships, as SmartFile looks to expand its channel presence, especially among systems integrators serving the enterprise.

Tyler Snetsalaar

Tyler Snetselaar, SmartFile’s Director of Strategic Alliances and Channel Partnerships

Indianapolis based SmartFile, which makes a secure enterprise file management and sharing platform, has announced the appointment of Tyler Snetselaar as Director of Strategic Alliances and Channel Partnerships. Snetselaar is tasked with further building out SmartFile’s Channel Partner Program, particularly among systems integrators. One way he intends to do this is by offering higher margins.

“The addition of me is part of the news, but overall the real highlight here is the concerted measures SmartFile is taking to enhance its channel,” Snetselaar said. “That’s in conjunction with the overall strategic direction of the company laid down by our CEO, John Hurley.”

Hurley founded SmartFile in 2009, and at first they started with a cloud-based system for organizations in the SMB space, who wanted to leverage the cloud.

“The product’s competitive advantage was its ability to scale to integrate and govern larger file systems out there,” Snetselaar said. “So in the last three years, we have transitioned our emphasis to FileHub. It is an on-prem file management solution replace that replaces other file sharing and FTP tools, and its focus is more on the enterprise, specifically the Fortune 1000. It was that scalability that was behind our switch to the enterprise.”

The move to an on-prem appliance, at a time when much of the industry is moving the other way, towards the cloud, was necessitated by the security and compliance focus of their offering.

“Cloud customers insisted we provide an on-prem solution for more control and more governance,” Snetselaar said. “We still have a cloud play, but the enterprise wants to bring this in-house for audit and compliance reasons. Our appliances have encrypted keys, so they have control of that from a security perspective.”

Snetselaar said that SmartFile has always had a channel in one form or another, historically focused mainly on MSPs.

“As we moved into the enterprise space, the channel became more important to us,” he said. “Very large SIs have relationships with the enterprise. We still have a solution for everyone from SMB to enterprise, but we are seeing the most interest at the enterprise level. Some of the largest SIs in the world have been knocking on our door to resell the SmartFile solution.”

Snetselaar said that SmartFile is a good fit for this type of partner.

“FileHub is able to integrate with storage systems, and all types of tools in place, including Windows File Server, and FTP servers,” he said. “This lets SIs consolidate all the raw storage, bring everything into one single pane of glass, and securely manage it through FileHub. From a security perspective, being able to audit report on files is what we do. That’s different from classic file sharing. So this is ideally suited for systems integrators with a focus on increasing storage and security.”

“While under half of SmartFile’s business today goes through partners, our strategic goal is to increase that significantly,” Snetselaar said. “We want to embrace the channel, as we see all the strategic software vendors moving in that direction.”

SmartFile has a three-tier channel program, but Snetselaar said that he was brought on board specifically to work with these large SIs who are strategic to the company.

“We have had channel leads before, but my position, as Director of Strategic Alliances, is a new position,” he said. “We have 15 to 20 of these strategic alliances, and my objective is to work with these SIs in the enterprise space. Beyond that, we have the ability for small VARs and small MSPs to work with us as well.”

The channel program has been enhanced as part of this initiative, particularly for the top tier partners, who Snetselaar said would be eligible for the highest margins in the industry.

“SmartFile’s objective is to enhance the channel, and to do this we will provide stronger margins, and work with them on cobranded marketing material,” he said. “These things have already been put in place and we are ready to rock!”

Canada is a target of the new initiative.

“We have customers and cloud MSPs based out of Canada,” Snetselaar said. “I have previous relationships in Canada from my previous roles, and am looking to grow the program there. It’s a strategic focus for us.”