The new Axcient program replaces a more informal one dating from the pre-merger eFolder days, and reflects the company’s growth and improved ability to provide more support for its partners.
Axcient, which makes business availability software for MSPs, has announced a major restructuring of their channel partner program. The new program is much more structured than the old, and designed to better enable partners to be successful selling Axcient
Axcient has a 100% channel strategy, and their channel is a relatively large one, with approximately 3000 partners.
“They are all pure play MSPs or VARs who have established a managed services line of businesses and who in many cases are transitioning to MSPs,” said Angus Robertson, Axcient’s CRO. “There are also a fair amount of managed print partners, and a few digital agencies.”
There was a channel program in place before, but it was the legacy eFolder program dating from before the merger with Axcient two years ago.
“We have made a lot of progress in a lot of different areas since then, so we revamped the whole program in terms of tiers and structures so it’s a lot more meaningful,” Robertson said. “The new program reflects our maturity. Now we are in a better position to help our partners grow.”
The new program has four tiers – Registered, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
“The old program tiers were much less formalized and structured compared to the ones today,” said Corey Banner, Director of Partner Success at Axcient. “The new tiers are much more structured in terms of how we engage with partners.”
“We’ve been working on this for over a year,” Robertson said. “We looked at a number of programs to see what matters most to partners, to help them build out their stack. It took quite some time to do it, however. It wasn’t until our new CEO joined and established a clear direction that that we were able to accelerate this.”
The new tiers all have a revenue component, but progression between tiers also requires a partner deepening their investment in Axcient.
“To get from a Registered to a Silver partner, you have to complete onboarding and training,” Robertson indicated. “To get from Silver to Gold, you have to be trained on more than one product, and also have to run joint campaigns with us, which can be white labelled. Getting from Gold to Platinum requires more of both. We want to focus on partners who align to our strategy and our product set and who are interested in growing with us.”
The onboarding and training has been overhauled.
“It’s now more comprehensive and now also provides individual incents for the techs,” Robertson said. “For going from Registered to Silver partner, the incents are for the tech. For moving up other levels, there are incents for the company as well.”
Early access to new products and programs is provided from the Silver tier up.
“We have had that before, but it hasn’t been as structured as it is now,” Robertson indicated.
“Silver partners and above also have access to the Marketing Portal we launched last year,” Robertson noted. “If you don’t have your own marketing automation capability, you can load it and run it for free here as if it came from your domain. There are also landing pages there which partners can brand.”
Dedicated account manager support is now provided at the Gold and Platinum levels. Each Platinum account manager supports 50 partners, while each Gold account manager supports around 200.
In addition, Platinum partners receive distributed leads, a marketing concierge service, and executive sponsorship.
“The executive sponsorship involves quarterly business reviews with an executive sponsor who is held accountable for the success of the partner,” Robertson said. “This involves the CEO or someone reporting directly to the CEO.”
The Axcient program also continues to offer a range of technical support, Partner Success initiatives to help partners develop and run business continuity campaigns, business continuity architecture assessments from Axcient’s sales engineering and the ability to review and influence product roadmaps and to design commercial programs and resolve billing issues
“The big difference with these services is that we have now consolidated all our products and services into one portal and one log-in,” Robertson said. “That level of transparency, being able to see in one place exactly who they need to talk to for everything wasn’t there before. Partners really like that.” Previously, Axcient had two different systems, around ZenDesk and Salesforce.
Axcient sees the better support and enablement the new program provides partners as critical to stand out in a crowded market.
“There are more than 20 backup providers in the MSP space,” Robertson said. “We are 100% channel, which not all of them are. This partner program will align with our differentiated value proposition and provide partners with the necessary support.”