Agiloft sold direct for two decades, but they have committed to building out a channel, and made their third straight appearance at CompTIA's ChannelCon event, this year emphasizing the value of their no-code technology.
WASHINGTON – Agiloft, a company that has been in business for almost three decades, but in the channel for only a small portion of that, made their third consecutive appearance at the CompTIA ChannelCon event here this week. The company has been adding to its partner base slowly, but the amount of business those partners are doing is increasing – up 67 per cent in fiscal year 2018 following a 200 per cent increase in fiscal year 2017. It’s still a small part of the company’s revenues, but it is growing.
Agiloft makes a platform that does business process automation, and their suite includes service desk, contract management and help desk capabilities. Its real differentiation though, comes from its extreme agility. It provides the capability of doing custom coding – without the need to actually write any code.
“What the market is showing now is a trend to systems that are agile and can shift quickly, and we are messaging around that at ChannelCon,” said Brandon Wright, Agiloft’s director of partner relations.
Jezreel Berdecia, VP of Business Development at eliteBco, a San Juan Puerto Rico-based Agiloft partner that also has offices in D.C., said that the Agiloft technology provides them with much more flexibility.
“It broadened the spectrum for us in an unprecedented way,” Berdecia said. “We do financial systems management and our biggest contracts are with the feds. We used to do this another way, but the software we used to use wasn’t open and was restrictive. Agiloft opened a door to limitless possibilities.”
Berdecia, whose enthusiasm for the Agiloft software led him to appear with the vendor doing a presentation at the show in spite of his pending marriage in Puerto Rico this weekend, stressed that the no-code capabilities were a major benefit.
“It is the closest thing to custom development as our own coding – but we don’t have to write the code” he stressed. “The way that this impacts us is that we can now do in two weeks things that used to take two to three months. So now, if we get behind on a project, it’s because the client finds out that they want something else when they see the possibilities of what we can do. It’s a real selling point.”
While Platinum Partner eliteBco sees great value in the Agiloft suite, the process of building out the channel has been a slow one. In 2016, the first year Agiloft appeared at ChannelCon, they had 12 channel partners, up from four the year before. Now, they have 13. While they continue to add small numbers of new partners, there has also been some churn, although Wright said that the newer partners now tend to have a more established customer base. Wright said that they are showing momentum in enlisting new ones however, especially outside the United States.
“We have added South Africa and have a few more partners coming on board there,” he said. “We also named a managing director for EMEA – our first overseas office. He’s helping to grow the number of European partners.”
Agiloft has never had a Canadian partner, but Wright is hopeful there.
“We are now starting to host on Canadian soil through AWS, and we do hope to have several Canadian partners,” he said.
While the Agiloft software is extremely agile, and brings margins of between 35 and 45 per cent which are high by industry standards, Wright acknowledged that becoming a partner requires a big commitment.
“We are looking for long term partnerships, and it’s not easy to become a partner,” he said. “It’s a 60 hour process to become trained and certified. For some partners, that can be a concern, and there can be hesitancy unless they have a customer in hand. If they have a legacy of custom coding, there can also be some concern in taking on things that are new and different. We are also looking for partners with complementary solutions that they offer that would be a good fit to offer with us – more so than in past years.”
Wright indicated new enablement capabilities have been added to Agiloft’s partner program.
“We are always improving the online training, and we opened up a section of our Wiki that is specific to partners,” he said. “We also opened a Slack channel where partners can communicate with us and each other to get answers to questions they may have.”
eliteBco’s Berdecia thinks the Agiloft’s code-free approach is the way of the future in business process software.
“I think this way will take over completely, but it will take some time for this to be familiar enough,” he said. “I think that, eventually, this will be the way coding is done and there will be more competitors that will enter this market. Right now, Agiloft is unique.”