The rapid growth of Microsoft 365 has pushed Martello’s business, which once was largely focused around Mitel, in a Microsoft direction, so they have remade their partner program to support the business they see as the future of the company.
Today Ottawa-based Martello Technologies Group is announcing the launch of their new channel program. The company had a channel program before, but their business has shifted significantly over the last year, as providing digital experience monitoring [DEM] for Microsoft 365 customers has taken off, to the point where it is clearly the future of the business going forward. The new program will support partners in those efforts, initially focusing on a fairly small cadre, but with plans to broaden out over the next three to five years to hundreds or even thousands of partners, to serve a massive Microsoft 365 Total Addressable Market.
Martello began in 2009 as a network performance analytics vendor, a majority of whose business came through Mitel, with whom they had, and still have, an important strategic partnership.
“Martello has been in the DEM space for a long while, and what we did for Mitel was DEM, but it just wasn’t called that then,” said Mike Danforth, VP global sales and partnerships at Martello. “Our 2020 acquisition of GSX, and their experience in DEM for Microsoft, allowed us to go really deep in Microsoft 365 and Teams. We have also leveraged technology from our acquisition of Savision for this. And separately, we have also been developing our own capabilities around Microsoft 365 and Teams.”
For example, Danforth said that Martello’s own R&D has focused on developing real user monitoring for DEM.
“That means that regardless of where the individual is, you can get data and analysis to solve their issue,” he said. “GSX and its acquisition was about synthetic transactions – probes which are always testing to give advance notice of a potential problem. Real user monitoring is like looking in the rear mirror of a car to see what happened, and what can we get from the data to correct that for the future. That’s something we have developed in-house.”
While Mitel work was the foundation of Martello, Microsoft, with its massively larger potential TAM, is the main component of the future, which is why the new partner program is Microsoft-focused, supporting Martello’s Gizmo Microsoft DEM monitoring.
“Our Microsoft business is probably about 40%, but is growing at a much faster rate,” Danforth said, with 2.17 million Microsoft users now being on Martello’s platform. “We have our targets around user adoption of our Microsoft 365 solution compared to Microsoft 365 in the overall market. If Microsoft grows at 20%, we want to grow at 60%.”
There was a partner program in place before, which was born out of the Mitel relationship.
“This one formalizes where we are headed as a company, and the direction we are going with our DEM solution, however,” Danforth said. Between our own development, plus GSX, plus Savision, we have the most comprehensive Microsoft DEM solution in the market.”
The new program is making its appearance now because it took some time to fully integrate GSX from an acquisition standpoint.
“It also took some time to get the structure for a robust partner program pulled together,” Danforth indicated.
Key elements of the program are still in development.
“A portal is in the works, and it will be rolling out soon,” Danforth noted. “I and some of my team are former Salesforce, and know what a good portal looks like. It will be ready in the next couple of months.”
Training is also being developed.
“It is based on content and also shadowing, with ‘train the trainer’ scenarios),’ Danforth said. “It will eventually all live in videos online. There are no certifications at this stage, although those are something we will have down the road.”
Automated service-level agreement [SLA] management is provided to partners through the Martello IQ ITops solution which came from the Savision acquisition, and which integrates and controls all monitoring, cloud, and service management tools.
“Today, IT people no longer manage systems, like they used to, because the SaaS companies do that,” Danforth indicated. “This holds vendors to their SLAs.”
Marketing development funds are in place today.
“These are being actively worked on now, although in the future they will be gamified through the partner portal,” Danforth said.
One partner, U.S. national managed IT services provider LDI, which has 7,000 clients in over 30 states, was announced at the launch.
“We have quite a few interested and others further down the path,” Danforth noted. “Our goal for this year is to have 30 partners in the program by the end of the fiscal year, in March 2022. Initially we will be fairly conservative with the numbers, because we want to make us and the partner successful. Our goal longer term over 3-5 years is hundreds, maybe thousands of partners. In a time where COVID changed everything, and where traditional IT departments had been shattered by the implications of Work From Anywhere, the same is true about the network, where the old monitoring techniques have had to change, and the environment is potentially anywhere. We have a scenario where people don’t know what they don’t know, and you need partners to come alongside and help make sense of what is happening.”
The program starts with a single tier, but that’s likely to expand over time as the program grows.