Ketera Launches Channel Effort

"We started with customers with $1 billion to $10 billion in revenue, but we think the real value proposition occurs with a continuous move down to smaller companies," said Steve Savignano, CEO of the Santa Clara, Calif., company. "For us to get to the lower end of the market, we will be very dependent on VARs and channel partners. We will invest very heavily in that network."

According to Pravin Kumar, Ketera's senior director of product marketing, who's running the company's VAR effort, Ketera is looking for two kinds of partners. One type is business service organizations that, for example, find potential product discounts that they source to their customers. "We are also seeing interest among accountants and auditors who are looking to add 'spend management' to their service offerings," said Kumar.

As with any software as service (SaS) company, Ketera charges a monthly fee for its offering, typically in one- to three-year terms. Under Ketera's new reseller program, partners will be able to control the size of their recurring revenue. "We will offer a discounted price off of our list price, and the VAR can sell the software for whatever it can, and take the difference," said Savignano.

Ketera's hosted suite of products gives companies a better idea of where their money is going. Its spend analysis module, for example, cleanses data from different sources to find opportunities for reduced spending. With its e-procurement service, Ketera will create an online catalog that, in effect, manages the supplier relationship on behalf of our buyer. Providing an online shopping experience similar to that of, Ketera's service displays only those products that have been approved for purchase, at the approved pricing. Finally, Ketera offers contract management software that measures supplier performance and contract compliance for both goods and services.

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According to Kumar, Ketera will offer free training to resellers throughout 2005. "Our goal is to ramp up this program throughout the year, so it's free. Also this year we will ask partners to show a simple forecast of revenue and deals."

Added Savignano: "We are also spending a lot of money on lead generation. And our inside sales will share commissions with partners in a way that they will be incented to work with them."