Skytap Creates Partner Program Around Its Cloud-Based Development And Testing Technology


Skytap, a provider of SaaS development and test environments, is opening up its sales channel to embrace partners with the launch of its TapIn Partner Program, the company said Wednesday.

In fact, Wayne Monk, vice president of business development at Seattle-based Skytap, said the company is "doubling down and making greater investments" in building a partner program that will deliver the margins and product portfolio that solution providers need. Skytap Cloud offerings help enterprise end users build, test and release software through a cloud-based testing and development environment.

As part of that investment, over the past six months the company has brought in a new leadership team and significantly bolstered its enterprise sales staff, including the October appointments of former Hewlett-Packard executives Monk and Andy White as vice president of marketing.

[Related: Cloudera, Hortonworks Move To Expand Their Partner Ecosystems]

"Were transforming ourselves as a company," Monk said. "We really want to work with our partners to drive innovation."

The TapIn Partner Program includes a reseller and referral tier for partners to choose from based on what model works best for each deal. For example, a partner working on a project-focused deal for a few months might be better fit for the referral program, while a multiyear commitment is better for the reseller program. Partners are incentivized through almost double the margins to push for multiyear commitments, but the referral option is available for smaller commitments.

"Whatever their preferred sales motion is, we stay behind 100 percent, cradle to grave," Monk said. "[First,] get a solid go-to-market plan in place; it's critical that we help each other fill our funnel. It's all about how do we create awareness, demand and excitement and show something that's different and help customers solve problems they're dealing with day in and day out in a solid go-to-market way," Monk continued.

After that, Skytap and its partners can work together to address portfolio gaps and build capabilities. Skytap has built in other measures to bolster partner success, said Monk, including lead generation, co-marketing, sales support, life-cycle support and more.

As an example of Skytap's involvement with partners, Orasi Software, with the company's help, arranged a series of webinars that have been well received by customers and potential clients, said Chris White, vice president of marketing at Orasi, Kennesaw, Ga.

"I definitely expect to see that prospect list jump up," White said, adding that more than 160 people registered for the last webinar. From a marketing perspective, White said she especially appreciated how Skytap is helping arrange webinars for months to come.

Skytap is looking to bring on 35 to 40 partners by the end of the calendar year, according to Monk. The company is aiming to keep the partner program very selective and focused on partners that embody what he called the "four C's": capacity, coverage, competency and commitment.

"We're not about 'Barney' relationships, we're about tangible, get after it, help them market, help support them, help every way we can. We're one family; we're not two separate teams. We're all representing the same opportunity," Monk said.

Caleb Billingsley, Orasi vice president of services, said Orasi has been using Skytap technology for two years now but recently has been ramping up efforts around it because of its ease of use and security.

"Most offerings are just a workbench and you still had to provide all this knowledge around the work, where we found Skytap made that invisible," Billingsley said. "It's definitely something that our customers are excited about." 

PUBLISHED APRIL 23, 2014