The new tools are part of Ivanti’s efforts to get more value out of its channel by making it more effective.
IT management platform provider Ivanti has announced the launch of both its new partner program and a Campaign Central marketing platform within it. The new tools are part of a continued effort by Ivanti to bring more clarity and strength to its channel strategy, and improve the partner experience. The Partner Portal imparts a personalized, role-based experience that automates the partner life cycle and streamlines business processes. Campaign Central uses AI to go beyond traditional marketing platforms and provide partners with additional insights about customer behavior.
“There was a traditional portal dating back to the LANDESK days, which basically did deal registration, said Dennis Kozak, longtime CA Technologies executive who came to Ivanti from Avaya as Chief Operations Officer six months ago. “As we continued to acquire other companies, the acquired ones had their portals discontinued but weren’t replaced. Organizations like Pulse Secure, Cherwell and MobileIron all had very different channels, and they had different portals to enable them. So we decided we had throw it all out and start over. In the last year we went from five platforms to a single Salesforce and ERP instance and retired the rest, but we didn’t provide any access for those partners to the old Ivanti portal because we were about to retire that and build this new one.”
These changes come following a period of turbulence in Ivanti’s channel strategy and are part of a process designed to end that. The initial problem was that when Ivanti began acquiring companies, it brought all their existing partners into the new program, rather than pruning out the inactive and the underperformers. As a result, in early 2020, Ivanti restructured its channel all at once, reducing the number of partners, and moving non-strategic partners to a referral model. They also took over the handling of renewals from partners. Part of the goal here was to get customers who had a single Ivanti offering, typically from an acquired company, to purchase additional Ivanti products and services.
The problem though is that the changes didn’t really achieve their goals.
“When I arrived from Avaya, I looked at our channel and said ‘oh my, that needs some work’,” Kozak said. “We had tried to bring in the renewals ourselves and that hadn’t worked, and we wound up underutilizing the channel as a result. Now there is clarity in our product strategy and each route to market. There is also clarity in our strategy around our Neurons automated platform, as we move customers from on-prem acquired products to the cloud-based Neurons platform.”
The new Partner Portal provides a personalized, role-based experience that provides automation of the partner life cycle and streamlines business processes.
“This partner portal is a leading mechanism to improve the partner experience,” Kozak stated. “It is personalized so that all the partners are able to participate. It lets them focus on transactional things like pricing and quoting if they want that. It lets them focus on enablement and certification if they choose. It also lets them focus on routes to market, which is particularly important for systems integrators and global systems integrators.”
The Partner Portal also contains the new Campaign Central marketing platform, which lets partners create and personalize every campaign.
“In terms of peer group software companies, we now have one of the best marketing engines,” Kozak said. “CA Technologies and Avaya, where I worked before, didn’t have these capabilities. A key factor is how we have augmented it with AI.”
Campaign Central contains expected tools like Campaigns in a Box, battle cards and the ability to generate cobranded assets, but it also has more than that.
“What differentiates this from other platforms is that we have used AI to extend two capabilities<’ Kozak said. One is white space tools. We have 38,000 customers, most from acquired entities. These tools show what the customer has and what they have bought before. The second is using AI to see what a customer has been searching for on the Web to help them understand what specific customers are in the market for. If they are looking for say, an MDM solution, the partner can focus on that. This gives them better data to get better results.”
Finally, Kozak disclosed that Ivanti has hired a new channel chief, although the name is not public yet.