Continuous Delivery as-a-Service provider Harness set to expand channel enablement resources

Harness formalized a multi-tier partner program a year ago, which now includes close to 40 partners. Over the next six months, they will implement a broader training and certification program, deploy additional technical and sales resources, and roll out a Partner Solutions Lead Program.

Harness, a 2017 startup which has developed an innovative Continuous Delivery-as-a-Service platform, has been aggressively building out their channel during the last year, after the relaunch of their partner program, Today, they are emphasizing the program’s growth in the last year, and indicating the new items on the roadmap which will roll out over the next six months.

Harness’s name comes from its purpose of harnessing the power of an automation platform to solve long standing problems with continuous integration [CI] and continuous development [CD].

“Jyoti Bansal, our CEO, and co-founder, earlier founded AppDynamics, and he tried to solve this problem of automating CI/CD there,” said Jason Eubanks, the CRO at Harness. “Existing solutions like Jenkins don’t scale, which means that they would require hundreds of hours of scripting, and the idea was to get away from reinventing this process with custom scripts.”

Harness was formed shortly after the acquisition of AppDynamics by Cisco was completed in early 2017. They are well-funded, having raised $110 million through their B round.

“Our slogan is ‘move fast and don’t break things,’ and our platform uses pipeline templates to build CD pipelines in minutes,” Eubanks noted.

Larger enterprises would benefit the most from the Harness platform, but their customers are all over the map, as even small companies find value in the platform.Enterprise customers make up approximately 75% of their sales revenues with commercial [mid-market and SMB] making up the remaining 25%.

“We have some really small accounts, with one being a flower shop with one DevOps engineer,” Eubanks said. “We also have several global financial services customers.”

Harness implemented a loose partner program early on, but it accounted for only a small part of the company’s business.

“We hadn’t formalized the program until we relaunched it a year ago,” Eubanks said. “We had two partners then. We recruited 15 partners, and then brought in regional Sis, and we now have 38 partners.” The program is organized as a three-tier one.

Their partners include Ottawa’s Benchmark, who uses Harness in their DevOps and Automation practice, Chicago-headquartered AHEAD, and Irvine CA-based Trace3.

“Some partners are close to normal VARs, while others are regionally-focused DevOps boutique companies, and others are regional SIs with a DevOps focus,” Eubanks added. Strategic vendor partners include AWS, Google Cloud, Cisco, and HashiCorp.

The plan in the upcoming second half of Harness’s FY 21 is to roll out multiple new initiatives. These start with a  training and certification program delivered through Harness University that will let partners deliver a lifecycle of services across the entire Harness platform.

Jason Eubanks, Harness’s CRO

“Previously, Harness University was mainly focused on the onboarding process,” Eubanks said. “We have added new certifications around sales and services and around customer success certification that will let partners deliver a lifecycle of services across our platform. Harness University has certification tracks for both partners and customers, and has instructor-led training in addition to online self service.”

Technical and sales resources have also been added to build and strengthen partner collaboration and competencies.

“This includes both investments in new people as well as making available new resources,” Eubanks said. “We hired a Senior Director of Channels, Melissa Larson.” Larson came from Pivotal but before that she spent over a decade at distributor Arrow Electronics.

“We have also hired new channel sales engineer resources,” Eubanks added.

Harness will also be introducing a Partner Solutions Lead Program through which Harness sales teams will pass a broader range of leads to partners, which will include Continuous Delivery and Continuous Efficiency as well as their primary use cases of modernizing CI/CD, Kubernetes adoption and deployment, and public cloud migration and adoption. The program has provided leads around the primary use cases to the top two partner tiers.

“We have a portal where partners can register leads and get deal protection, and we will distribute leads through the portal,” Eubanks said. “We do track the level of engagement with partners by tier level, and will consider that when distributing leads.”