Channel programs News
Intermedia Driving Partner Profitability With Broad Portfolio Of Cloud Security, Voice Services
Cloud business applications provider Intermedia has doubled down on its voice and file backup and synchronization capabilities to help partners diversify their revenue stream.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company, No. 189 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, has attacked the security market with an offering that integrates file backup and file sync and share into a single solution, according to Irina Shamkova, senior vice president of product management.
Intermedia is also making it easier for the company's longtime cloud partners to resell voice solutions with a suite of training, client assessment and tax calculation tools, Shamkova said. The company started out with hosted Microsoft Exchange and had a robust Office 365 practice, according to Eric Martorano, senior vice president of worldwide sales, but in recent years has looked to grow in different areas.
"Our product roadmap is just buzzing with all this cool and innovative functionality," Shamkova said Monday during XChange Solution Provider 2017, hosted by CRN parent The Channel Company. "It is growing fast and profitable."
Intermedia has increasingly become a channel-centric business, shifting from a predominantly direct sales model at the time of its 1995 founding to driving 70 percent of sales through a network of more than 6,000 solution providers, Martorano said.
"My hope and my prayers are that we go 100 percent through the channel," Martorano told more than 220 solution providers at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. "The only way we're going to be successful is if we embrace a channel-first approach."
The biggest impediment to getting legacy solution providers into reselling voice are the registered carrier requirements and the complexity of calculating voice-related taxes, Shamkova said.
But now, Intermedia is offering to handle telco taxes for its channel partners. All solution providers need to do is indicate what they want to charge customers, and Intermedia will handle the rest, Shamkova said, inputting the information into its comprehensive tax calculation system and spitting out a partner-branded tax report that can be given to the end user.
"Because we handle the calculation of taxes, we enable you to focus on the voice business," Shamkova said. "Voice is a huge thing. Get in the game."
Intermedia has also developed a free proprietary solution which solution providers can use to test their clients' network. Shamkova said VoIP Scout test the end user network for packet loss and latency, and provides a report back under the solution provider brand that can be given to customers.
"When you bring a VoIP solution to your customers, you have to make sure your customer's network is ready for the high-quality voice," Shamkova said.
Partners can then work with the client network and leverage their professional services to address any outstanding issues identified by VoIP Scout, Shamkova said. Unlike other voice assessments that only test the network at a given point in time, Shamkova said VoIP Scout monitors the network over the period of a few business days to ensure it's ready.
Voice configuration is also made easy through Intermedia, Shamkova said, with the company preconfiguring phones purchased through them and sending plug-and-play devices to solution providers. Intermedia will also support partners that opt to purchase their own phone, Shamkova said.
Finally, Shamkova said Intermedia offers solution providers voice-focused sales, technical and marketing training that begins with phone systems 101 and works its way into more advanced and specialized topics. That training is enhanced by marketing campaigns that can be partner-branded and immediately leveraged, she said.
Intermedia works to address issues of critical functionality through its SecuriSync offering, which Shamkova said makes it possible for a solution provider to roll back a client's files to any point in time in the event of ransomware, hardware failure or any other loss of data.
SecuriSync can restore lost files in minutes, which Shamkova said would take a standalone file backup or file sync offering hours, days or even weeks. And from a sharing perspective, Shamkova said SecuriSync makes files, file servers or videos securely available from any laptop, desktop, browser or mobile application.
The solution is available on a private-label basis, which Shamkova said gives solution providers complete control over pricing and margins.
Many non-profit clients of Community IT Innovators are looking into hosted voice, and the company is watching closely to see how that plays out, according to Matthew Eshleman, chief technology officer of the Washington D.C.-based MSP.
Community IT Innovators currently relies on a broker to provide clients with an objective view on their phone system options. Eshleman, though, said he is open to having his company take on a more active role around voice.
"I'm curious what it looks like from a profit model," Eshleman said.