CloudGenix’s new partner program makes resources available to partners on Day One, including a structured program for leveraging customer references that provides partners with a relevant customer to join their sales calls.
SD-WAN vendor CloudGenix has launched their new G2 Partner Program, which restructures their channel enablement activities to better support partners. The program emphasizes Day One support rather than tying benefits to performance, and includes a structured customer reference program to provide partners with pertinent customer references for their own prospects.
CloudGenix believes that customer expectations in a maturing SD-WAN market require a new approach, both in terms of product and vendor support for it. Accordingly, the company has evolved their solution set even though the Gen 1 product has been successful in the market.
“We are focused on the enterprise space, and we have more Fortune 500 deployments than any other vendor out there,” said Kumar Ramachandran, CloudGenix’s Founder and CEO, who started the company in 2013. “Cisco loses to us consistently with Viptela.”
Ramachandran said that in their early adopter phase – their Gen1 product – CloudGenix had two requirements.
“We wanted broadband-based connectivity and migrating UCaaS to cloud-delivered voice, but increasingly customers also wanted best of breed security, and wanted us to adopt multi-cloud as well,” he indicated. “That led to us following three important concepts for our second generation of SD-WAN.”
The first is high-speed access to multi-cloud enablement.
“We have a very unique partnership with Akonix, as our entry point instead of the public internet, so you get high-speed access to the cloud from anywhere,” Ramachandran stated.
The second is a broad approach to security that depends on best of breed partnerships.
“In security, Cisco tries to do everything themselves, and be everything to everyone,” Ramachandran said. “We believe that the right answer is enablement of best of breed. We allow the customer to integrate security with vendors such as Palo Alto Networks, Netskope, ZScaler and CheckPoint, without having to deploy any incremental software. This enables a cloud-delivered branch.”
The third emphasis is to take advantage of the power of data science.
“We apply both classic data science and modern machine learning techniques to automate AI Ops for the Branch,” Ramachandran said. “These three concepts provide the next generation branch platform.”
CloudGenix started out selling into the Fortune 500, then expanded into the midmarket with customers like Columbia Sportswear approximately two years ago. Their channel, on the other hand, has been the base of the company’s Go-to-Market strategy from the beginning,
“We’ve always been 100% channel,” Ramachandran said. “Every other SD-WAN vendor has channel conflict, even if they don’t say so. We turned the model on its head, and 100% of our revenue is through the channel. Our own salespeople don’t get paid a penny until the channel is paid. Everyone is working for the channel.”
CloudGenix has four major partner channels.
“We work with a few hundred classic VARs, like CDW and regional VARs who used to sell Cisco routers,” Ramachandran indicated. “We work with Master Agents like Avant and the agent community. In the U.S., we have hundreds of agents, and most of them are productive. That channel is also growing for us in western Europe and the U.K.”
System integrators are the third channel.
“Wipro is a public partner here, but there are others,” Ramachandran said. “The SIs are very useful in high end deals, while the Master Agents are more mid-market and the VARs are all over the place. Finally, you have the MSP and MSSPs, and they cover all parts of the market from smaller to larger. The active MSP partners are in the hundreds.”
The name of the new G2 [Gen2] Partner Program suggests that they had a program before, and that is the case. However, Ramachandran indicated that the philosophy of this one is very different, and is one that CloudGenix believes will both appeal to and strongly enable partners.
“As partners come in, the traditional method is sign up, do some deals and get some MDF,” Ramachandran said. “We’ve flipped the model on the head. One day one of coming on board you immediately get a channel manager. We go and invest and co-invest on Day One – before they book a single deal. We are so confident in our product and the stage of the market.”
Ramachandran said that the scale of resources working with the channel is also greater than it is with other vendors.
“Most other companies have a few channel managers,” he indicated. “We’ve made the entire enterprise sales team a resource, which we can do because there is zero conflict. They also get an enterprise sales director, an SE and a business development manager. They get all these resources from day one.”
CloudGenix has also implemented a structured program for leveraging references by geography, by vertical, by size, and by use case.
“Customers buy on reference selling, which makes being able to give the customer relevant references important,” Ramachandran noted. “We have systematized that. Here when the partner does a sales call, a customer shows up on the call. Because our customers love CloudGenix, those reference calls are very powerful. Often, everyone drops off the call except the customer and the prospect.”
The program is basically a two-tiered one.
“There is a third tier, which is the low level, but basically, no one bothers with Bronze,” Ramachandran said.