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In those two quarters, from which group are you seeing the most growth?
The number of partners that has reached Elite has doubled that since the program began. We see partners investing to get into the top tier. We've seen Premier grow by more than 50 percent. I think about 70 percent of our partner program revenue has been generated by those two groups.
We also are there trying to come up with a strategy to progress Regular partners. One thing I don't believe, which you see at traditional companies, is every company trying to activate 80 percent of their partners and saying they can't do it. I talk to a lot of other channel chiefs who say they have to spend all their time on the top 10 or 20 percent and the rest is trickle. I don't think that's true. With advancements in sales marketing automation and analytics I think there are ways that we can activate the 80 or 90 percent of the channel in a one-to-many fashion that will yield success. We are constantly working on that, and we have some exciting things in the work to launch in the next few quarters that will accelerate that.
What advice do you have for partners in terms of how to position themselves for the future? How do they market business value as opposed to technology?
The advice I give people is they really need to understand their customers. Too many people think of business short term. Have specific goals. What are your growth expectations? Provide meaningful value to people and be a resource and a source of knowledge and expertise. You can build a successful business. You can provide business value. MSPs providing a solution based on cost is a losing battle. It becomes a high-volume, low-margin business. That is not a good recipe for building successful companies.
Look at the Fortune 100 companies. Very, very few, if any, are low-cost commodity leaders. Look at Apple. They are the most successful company, have the largest market [capitalization] in the world. They are definitely not the below-cost leader. You could buy a laptop for a quarter of the price of a Mac. A [tablet] is half the price of an [iPad]. You can get a phone for free from many companies. They deliver value and you feel good when you use it. They service your needs, and it gives you a delightful experience. They have the volume, margins and revenue that outstrips anyone. Think of your business that way. Think of the way you provide solutions rather than provide technologies.