Leostream has been in business over 20 years but sold mainly direct, with a minor partner presence, so the company has now established a channel program and transferred their Business Development team to manage partners.
Enterprise remote access solutions provider Leostream, which has been in business since 2002, is taking its first steps to formalize its channel management with the introduction of their first channel program. While they have had channel partners before, they did not play a lead role in the company’s Go-to-Market strategy, which was primarily direct, and the channel management was rather informal. Now they have made major changes to how that channel is managed, providing it with additional resources and personnel. Their VP of Business Development has moved to the new position of VP Channel and Alliances, bringing the business development team with him.
“In the early years, there wasn’t a lot of channel emphasis,” said Robert Ewanouski, now the VP Channel and Alliances at Leostream., who was in sales at the company from the beginning “Most of the channel sales came in through strategic partners. HP had a connection broker product like ours, but they end-of-lifed it, and we were brought in. That’s really how we got into channels.”
It would be using creative license to say that Leostream had a channel program in these days however.
“We didn’t really have a program,” Ewanouski said. “It was really just me trying to talk to customers and channel partners. It was all very informal.”
The pandemic is what led to major changes here.
“The pandemic helped our business, and revenue doubled and doubled again, instead of the scratching and clawing to get sales that we had before,” Ewanouski commented. “At the same time, it brought in more business from partners and we had to make it easier for partners to interact with us. This meant that we had to formalize it.”
The availability of the new program and the new portal should help deal with the core problems that existed.
“The last year and a half, we struggled building out a new platform for our partners,” Ewanouski said. “Now with this formal program, partners can now register deals. It’s a great way for Leostream to engage with the channel. We are now very flexible with our tools, and we have been getting great guidance from Gartner.”
The partner portal is now in beta. It provides access to sales and marketing materials, enablement collateral, registering customer opportunities, recruiting, and tracking revenue from Leostream sales. The portal also includes partner-only documentation such as overviews of new releases, so partners can learn about new features directly from Leostream experts, along with a roadmap to assist with strategic planning. A new training course is also available that covers configuration and deployment, with additional training modules to come.
“We went with an established player to design the portal,” Ewanouski said. “Our friends at IGEL introduced us to them. We also adding a renewal module to that from the Leostream site.”
Many of Leostream’s partners are smaller solution providers who build solutions for their customers.
“We have made a living off of edge cases, and VARs who use us in their solutions are ideal,” he said. “Sometimes the larger guys miss some things with us. We have SKUs with some major VARs but they don’t know our product well, and we are working on that. SIs are also great partners.” Ewanouski said that Leostream now has about 20 of what they would consider to be best of breed partners in their channel.
“We are still young in our channel development for distribution, but they do bring us more,” Ewanouski added. “Carahsoft bundles us, HP Anywhere and Liquidware into a joint SKU.”