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AppDirect Reveals New Reseller Management Service At Cloud Channel Summit

AppDirect revealed its Reseller Management Service at Cloud Channel Summit in San Diego. The new program extends the platform for building app stores to the channel.

AppDirect offers a popular platform that its partners often white-label to create unique online application marketplaces tailored to the needs of their own clientele.

But those partners using AppDirect technology to distribute applications and cloud-based services aren't traditional channel companies. They're typically of Fortune 500 stock in sectors like telecom, cloud infrastructure, retail and financial services. Those companies can choose to curate in their customized app stores products from vendors like Symantec, Mozy and Microsoft that look to AppDirect as a distribution channel for their business apps.

At Wednesday's Cloud Channel Summit in San Diego, which precedes The Channel Company's NexGen Cloud Conference & Expo, AppDirect launched a new service that will bring the benefits of its platform to IT solution providers by tapping the channels of those existing partners.

[Related: AppDirect Introduces Mobile Capabilities To Its Digital Marketplaces]

AppDirect's new Reseller Management Service opens up the vendor-agnostic platform to solution providers who want to offer clients their own customized app stores.

"Historically, our business was focused on making it easy to find and use apps from a trusted adviser. Today's announcement enables us to unlock the resale networks of our big partners, making it really easy for a distributor to enable their reseller community to thrive," AppDirect President and Co-CEO Daniel Saks told CRN.

It's a move recognizing the transformations occurring in the channel, Saks told CRN. The industry is at a tipping point, and the relationship between VARs and their customers is changing, he said.

"We really want to enable and empower resellers to manage that transition. Customers are demanding agile capabilities to on-board to cloud technologies in a safe way," Saks said, a trend that creates new business opportunities for VARs and MSPs.

By tapping local IT solution providers, the Reseller Management Service could exponentially expand the reach of the applications and services distributed through AppDirect, especially within the SMB market. The platform gives VARs the tools and automation services they need to sell to, and manage, customers -- features to assist them with on-boarding, sales automation and back-office automation, Saks told CRN.

"We find these resellers are really an important part of the puzzle. The business model of a traditional cloud reseller is going to shift. We've been putting a lot of focus on moving downstream to enable resellers to have access to these products and services," Saks said.

The decision to open the platform to the channel was prompted by requests from AppDirect's developer partners, who were hoping to unlock the tremendous distribution potential of local resellers.

The new distribution model is intended to be geographically scalable to appeal to VARs around the world, Saks said. The platform has been built to support global scalability by incorporating multiple languages and currencies.

NEXT: Tapping The Strength Of The Channel


Security giant Symantec is one vendor that distributes its endpoint protection and Internet security solutions through AppDirect-powered marketplaces.

Joan Fazio, senior director of global strategic partner marketing at Symantec, told CRN the reseller service should enable Symantec to reach new partners through the existing relationships it has with distributors already operating app stores.

’AppDirect’s Reseller Management Service will expand our ability to offer Symantec services to thousands of new partners and customers across a broad set of industries. The AppDirect marketplace helps our partners to quickly and effectively enable their own channel and to become an even more significant source of revenue for Symantec," Fazio told CRN.

Another vendor partner, Nashua, N.H.-based MyCloudCure, offers online tech support services through AppDirect marketplaces to residential and business customers.

CEO Mark Constantino told CRN that the AppDirect marketplaces have enabled MyCloudCure to become an IT-as-a-Service provider.

"By partnering with AppDirect as a reseller, we’ve been able to offer just the right apps, as well as remote support for those solutions, in a way that keeps our partners and clients highly satisfied while being incredibly easy for our own team to manage," Constantino told CRN.

The new Reseller Management Service will enable MyCloudCure to help more clients avoid IT failure, he said.

"By pairing with the right partners, plus what the new AppDirect Reseller Management Service can provide, we can now offer a unique and affordable solution that is generating all new revenue and making happier customers," Constantino told CRN.

While most of AppDirect's current distribution partners already have large existing channels, some, especially retailers or developers offering SaaS or PaaS products, could use the new service to build out a partner network for the first time, Saks told CRN.

And the resellers, recruited by new or existing vendor partners, will have a tool to modernize their businesses in the rapidly evolving IT landscape, he said.

"The challenge for [solution providers] is to stay relevant because they don't have access to resell cloud services. This is a transformative moment that allows them to stay relevant by opening up all these cloud services for them," Saks told CRN.

PUBLISHED DEC. 2, 2014

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