Enterasys is capping off a year of superb channel gains with a new program to catalyze sales of wireless products, which the company says is not only its fastest-growth segment but also the segment responsible for pulling in additional sales of its data center, networking and security products.
In early November, Enterasys launched IdentiFi, a wireless framework comprised of access points, controllers and software that fits into Enterasys' overall OneFabric Edge platform for unified management of customer infrastructure. On Tuesday, the company announced channel updates to backstop the IdentFi effort, including a spiff program that offers up to 300 percent payouts on new sales of Enterasys Wi-Fi.
The company is hitting its stride at just the right time. Enterasys this fall came off what executives said was its best quarter in a decade to end a strong fiscal year. Wireless specifically grew 80 percent year-over-year, according to Charlie Van Pelt, director of North America channels, and researchers at Dell'Oro Group pegged Enterasys as the fastest-growing Wi-Fi vendor in the category of integrated wired and wireless solutions for the second quarter of 2012.
Specific to Enterasys' channel program, in which the company has been investing significantly over the last two years, the number of new deal registrations closed increased by 110 percent, the number of new deal registrations created grew by 95 percent and overall channel revenue grew by 27 percent.
"We have been a channel company for a while, but we're becoming even more and more of one, and you can see that in the numbers," Van Pelt told CRN.
The IdentiFi offering includes higher payouts for new product sales of wireless and also a reward program through which partners can earn back-end rebates and market development funds in the category. In addition, Enterasys is debuting free wireless technical and sales training courses in various e-learning formats -- many of which have already sold out, Van Pelt said.
There's no question wireless is Enterasys' biggest growth area, he said. Enterasys surveys its partner base on a regular basis, and during a June 2012 survey, it found that 84 percent of partners already have wireless LAN experience including in RF-based solutions. But, it also found that as many as 30 percent are interested in and or are in need of more training and support. What's more, about 85 percent of partners already offer or are interested in offering managed WLAN services, Van Pelt said.
About 70 percent of Enterasys' net-new business opportunities involve wireless, according to the company. In addition, the pull-through is such that 40 percent of Enterasys wireless customers buy other products and services from the company within six months, and the services piece of a wireless-centric Enterasys deal is usually about 10 to 25 percent.
"The pull-through is proof that OneFabric is working," Van Pelt explained.
Back when Enterasys relied primarily on OEM relationships for wireless, partners didn't see a compelling reason to lead with the product when they also had relationships in WLAN with the likes of Aruba Networks or Meru Networks, he said. But, a significant number of those partners have converted to Enterasys now because customers have embraced the OneFabric idea of managing all networking assets, core to edge, with the single-pane-of-glass approach.
Michael Stratos, president and CEO of Ideal Integrations, a West Mifflin, Pa.-based solution provider, said Enterasys' IdentiFi offering provided a "differentiated value proposition."
"[We've] experienced tremendous success implementing Enterasys wireless solutions. Most notably, we have seen substantial growth in our education and healthcare customer base," Stratos said in a statement emailed to CRN.
PUBLISHED DEC. 4, 2012