Network monitoring firm Auvik launches first partner program

Auvik previously sold to MSPs, who in turn sold to their customers, so a partner program was not critical, but they now sell through MSPs as well, and through other types of reseller partners.

Bob Gault, Auvik’s Chief Revenue Officer

Canadian networking monitor vendor Auvik has been in business for a decade, and for much of that has used channel partners. However, until recently, most of that has been through MSPs, and much of that business has been direct selling to the MSPs, who in turn sold to the customers. Now while Auvik continues to sell this way, they have moved to more of a sell-through model with their MSPs, and have added more traditional reseller partners as well. As a result, while a partner program was not essential in the previous go to market, the new Go-to-Market model makes it much more of a necessity. So today they are announcing the Auvik Partner Program, their first channel program.

“The company is just past 10 years old, and for first nine and a half years we were very successful selling into the MSP space, especially in North America,” said Bob Gault, Auvik’s Chief Revenue Officer, who is best known in the Canadian channel for a long stint at Cisco Canada, followed by several years as Extreme Network’s CRO. “That MSP channel has been our primary route to market. We also began to recruit reseller partners over the last year.”

The nature of their relationship with MSP partners has also changed.

“We see our MSPs as customers, but also as partners,” he said. “The model used to be that the MSP holds title to the licenses, so they were our customers, but when their customers wanted the MSP to do a lot of management with them, then that led to a title transfer of the license through the MSP. MSPs benefited from this because we were otherwise a direct and inbound marketing Go-to-Market, and they also competed with a limited number of partners.”

Gault said that this change to the old model has been happening for a little over a year.

“We continue to focus on MSPs because we see that $16 billion market in the midmarket commercial space, and partnering with the channel community is the best way to do that, but we began to pivot the model as resellers began to come in,” he stated.  “We started with two or three, and the expectation is that we will be triple digits in resellers by Q1 of next year.

“We built out our channel infrastructure to include partners, and we are strongly encouraging our internal teams to work with partners,” Gault added. “Our teams now get paid more if a sale goes through a partner, so our internal sales team is flipping deals to channel partners. MSPs increasingly also want to build the ability to resell, and now they can do that when customers are interested in that kind of transaction.”

Auvik’s business has been primarily in North America to date, but Doug Murray, who was appointed as CEO late last year, intends to broaden that out, particularly to Europe.

“In Europe, we will be focusing in Northern Europe [Scandinavia] and the U.K.,” Gault said.

The Auvik Partner Program is an extremely conventional one with three tiers: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each tier offers an increasing level of benefits, including partner discounts, technical training and certifications, customer support services, network assessments, marketing resources, and access to new product offerings.

“It was designed to be very traditional, because partners are used to that,” Gault said. “It is both a value and volume based program. Volume is important to us, and our badges are based both on the volume we generate and the level of investment that the partner makes on certifications. They then receive additional training, and access to new resources.”

The Silver tier begins with partner discounts, free sales and technical training, webinars and community access.

Gold status provides access to deeper partner discounts, a best practices library, lead sharing, both virtual and in-person training and proposal-based MDF. Gold partners also get access to a dedicated account manager, customer success manager and assigned account executive. They also have access to a key benefit, network assessments, as do the Platinum partners.

Platinum partners get all the Gold benefits. They also get the deepest partner discounts, and a quarterly business plan and review, in additional to the network assessments.

The network assessments use the Auvik Network Monitoring platform, and while they aren’t exactly new, their use before was limited.

“We had less than a handful of successful partners doing them, and they were so successful they didn’t need a program for it,” Gault said. “However, the visibility on something in the network traps pulls through opportunities for the partner.  It gives them visibility to a customer’s network they didn’t have before, and while some partners just use it to land customers, others might want to monetize that.

“We are extremely excited about the program,” Gault concluded. “We are committed to being a channel-driven organization, and to doing that globally.”