Arcserve stresses higher margins, stronger partner engagement in new channel program

Recruitment of new MSP partners, in a business where the cloud is constantly increasing in importance, is a top priority for Arcserve.

Scott Walker, Arcserve’s VP of Global Channels and Alliances

Today, Arcserve is announcing Arcserve Accelerate, their new channel program designed for their broad spectrum of channel partners. A key element of the new program is its focus on higher margins to increase partner profitability. The company is also stressing that the new program represents a new design philosophy from the industry norm, and is based on an entirely different partner engagement model.

“We want to accelerate the company’s growth,” said Scott Walker, Arcserve’s VP of Global Channels and Alliances. “There is a lot of disruption happening in the market, with the favorite spot for that offsite copy of the data now being the cloud. Some backup traditional players are struggling and others are new. In this kind of environment, it’s important to have a program that’s attractive to partners in order to maintain mind share.”

Walker said that Arcserve had reflected on what they have done in the past to manage partners programmatically, and described the new program as reflecting a new way of thinking about, and engaging with, channel partners.

“Most of the industry still thinks of the channel as an extension of heir sales force, and rates them like that, where the view is simply ‘how much will you sell this quarter,’” he said. “We want to engage partners in a new and meaningful way – understanding how they go to market, their top verticals and geos and how can we help with that. With this Go-To-Market philosophy, the focus becomes ‘what other products of yours can we help you sell.”

Walker illustrated how this works in practice.

“Our new RHA [Replication and High Availability] product is really useful for Microsoft Azure, for customers who want to replicate to Azure instead of to a second data centre,” he said. “The average Arcserve deal size here is $80,000-100,000, and it drives $100,000-140,000 worth of Azure consumption on an annual basis, That’s very attractive for Microsoft partners.”

Money has been moved from other areas to enhance margins.

“We made a conscious decision not to do big budget marketing, and instead put it in partner margins,” Walker said. “We want to make sure people are aware of us, but we want to offer industry leading margins.”

Every vendor today says they want to be easy to be doing business with, but Walker said this is a particular focus here.

“We are constantly analyzing how complex our SKUs are,” he said. “We want our SKUs to be just like our software, which is very much ‘set it and forget it.’”

Arcserve has always had a 100 per cent channel strategy, and has about 7500 partners globally, but Walker said that the number in North America who have been actively selling in the last six months is considerably smaller – about 500. Arcserve wants to work more closely with its key partners, which is why they are emphasizing the broader Go-to-Market motions.

“The traditional channel is a crowded space,” Walker said. “We want to work with partners who want to work with us.”

The new program has a three-tier structure, with annual booking targets of $50,000, $150,000 and $250,000 as the requirement for entry. All three tiers require a written business plan, which can be simply a 5 to 10 slide deck with everything important in it.

With the growth of the cloud, MSPs have become more important to Arcserve, and Walker said this is reflected in the program.

“Recruitment of MSPs is a top priority,” Walker said. “They have been a component of the program, and tend to be born-in-the-cloud partners. 100 per cent of them build on AWS or Azure. They are a very good target for us to build a DRaaS business on.”

With a few key exceptions, vendor strategic partners are not a huge part of the Go-to-Market strategy.

“We have dozens of technology relationships but the Go-to-Market with most of them is light,” Walker indicated. “We are a co-sell ready Microsoft partner, and an Advanced AWS technology partner. We have been Nutanix AHV certified for a number of years, and we are developing native Nutanix support.”

Walker said that in today’s changing market, Arcserve is able to enjoy the advantages of being well-known, without being typed as a legacy vendor. The original software dates back to Cheyenne Software in 1990, which was acquired by Computer Associates in 1996.

“Because we have been around for well over 20 years, we are well-established, which is why we have numbers like over 50 per cent share in Japan,” he stated. “Gartner has said that experience does count in this market. On the other hand, our core UDP platform was completely reinvented in 2013 and 2014, so the technology itself is not old, and being ‘legacy’ doesn’t really come up.”

In conjunction with the new program, Arcserve also named nine top-performing North American LARs, VARs and OEMs as Partners of the Year. for their dedication to exceptional service. Montreal-based Spencomp Solutions was North American Partner of the Year in Canada. Insight was the overall North American Partner of the Year, while New Hampshire-based RDT Solutions was North American Partner of the Year in the United States.