Vapor IO Launches AI Edge Partner Program: 5 Incentives, Initiatives To Know

Vapor IO unveils its new ‘Monetize the AI Edge’ partner program targeting a $100 billion market opportunity as the company doubles down on making its go-to-market ‘channel-centric.’

Vapor IO has built one of its boldest partner initiatives yet with the launch of the new “Monetize the AI Edge” program that offers deal registration margins up to 10 percent and pays partners more on renewals.

“We’re making our go-to-market channel-centric,” Rodney Foreman, chief revenue officer at Vapor IO, told CRN. “That’s why we’ve created this new channel program that is designed to align with how partners want to do business with a vendor. We’re aligning with how partners want to do business and how they want to generate revenue and profit over the lifetime of a customer contract, not just the initial sale.”

The Austin, Texas-based modular data center, edge networking and subscription services company is seeking to make it easy for partners to cost-effectively deploy and provide AI services to customers.

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Vapor IO’s new “Monetize The AI Edge” partner program helps accelerate the availability of real-time AI by delivering bundled AI services via its shared and neutral host infrastructure. The program supports VARs, MSPs, GSIs, referrals and agents.

The company has been working with multiple vendors to create bundles of high-margin, turnkey AI services that partners can integrate into their own solutions.

“AI workloads require very little latency,” said Matt Trifiro, Vapor IO’s chief marketing officer. “If you want to do real-time interpretation of high-resolution video, sending that to the cloud just doesn’t work unless you need responses later. But if you’re doing something with public safety or smart retail or inventory or anything like that—you need real time AI.”

The new partner program is built around Vapor IO’s Kinetic Grid platform where partners can offer turnkey cloud and content delivery network (CDN) services for delivery over last mile networks. CRN breaks down five important keys to Vapor IO’s new edge AI partner program.

10 Percent Deal Registration And New Customer Incentives

Partners who join the program will benefit from exclusive deal registration incentives to boost profitability and encourage them to bring more opportunities to the table.

“For deal registration, whoever first brings the opportunity gets additional margin as much as seven to 10 percent,” said Foreman.

Additionally, Vapor IO is providing an incentive for partners who acquire new customers. Foreman—who has decades of experience in top channel roles working for the likes of IBM, Nutanix and Megaport—said Vapor IO is providing better tools and capabilities to enable AI for partners.

“AI does not work without a low latency network, the near-premise data center capabilities we offer, and the software platform that we provide. It just does not work,” said Foreman, a former Nutanix channel chief. “So we provide the foundation for AI and those components that allow AI to perform and really work. I don’t know of any vendor that provides that combination in the market for partners to sell..”

Click through to read the four other key details of Vapor IO’s new AI partner program.

We ‘Pay More On Renewals’

Vapor IO’s new program pays partners more on subscription renewals compared to just the initial sale.

“Where most vendors pay less on renewals, we actually pay more on renewals. So that the partners are incentived to continue working with the customer and making them successful,” said Foreman.

“It’s always kind of baffled me why vendors who want to have a channel, and a successful channel, don’t pay more for renewals than the initial sale because that’s where the real work is,” he said. “It’s about sticking with the customer and making sure that the product is successful over time and your product footprint grows. And you have customer references. There’s tremendous value in that. So I’ve always thought it was backwards in the market why most vendors are paying more for the initial sale versus their renewals.”

Vapor IO’s subscription model is evolving to be focused around usage and what customers are actually utilizing with regards to its Kinetic Grid.

“Also, how customers are utilizing our services and paying for what they actually utilize. Then rewarding partners along that same model,” he said.

AI Use Cases Targeted In The Program

Partners who join the “Monetize The AI Edge” program can provide lucrative use cases around video security, smart retail, public safety and manufacturing.

For video security, partners can offer remotely operated video cameras connected to the Kinetic Grid that monitor secure facilities with real-time AI to identify and track people and objects.

“For example, if you buy video security for campus or a building, you go to a large provider of video management systems and you buy a bunch of Windows servers and you stick them, traditionally, underneath a desk,” said Trifiro. “So not only is it a thing that you own and you have to maintain—it’s a threat vector.”

Partners who offer Vapor IO’s Kinetic Grid enable customers to: not have to buy hardware; provide higher reliability due to redundancy on the Kinetic Grid; offer more video management capabilities, to name a few benefits.

For smart retail use cases, partners can provide AI-powered computer vision for inventory tracking, loss prevention and customer behavior tracking. “You can put 100 cameras inside a store. Either hook them up with wires or with private 5G that we also can run off the Kinetic Grid. Then you pull all the video off those into the Kinetic Grid platform, where there are servers and software and all of that to actually do the application computer vision.”

Vapor IO Seller Pushing Leads To Partners; Incented To ‘Work With Partners’

Vapor IO said its sales team is compensated for partner-led opportunities, aiming to eliminate potential channel conflicts and ensuring that partners always come first.

“Our salespeople are incented to work with partners and they make the same amount of commission as they would working with a partner or taking a deal direct,” said Foreman. “The sales team is encouraged to bring a partner in to help us close opportunities and we pass leads to partners to close opportunities.”

With decades of experience in the channel, Foreman said bringing partner leads bodes well for both parties.

“If you bring a partner a lead, they’ll bring you three more in return. That’s always proven true to me throughout my career and working in the channel,” he said.

New Program Is Chasing A ‘$100 Billion Dollar Market’ Opportunity

Vapor IO executives said the new program is chasing a $100 billion market opportunity over the next several years. The company’s current address market for edge AI spans 36 U.S. markets in which Vapor IO operates in. According to a report by consulting and research firm Tolaga Research, by 2028, the combined value of edge AI in those 36 U.S. markets will be approximately $180 billion.

“It’s a $100 billion dollar market that we’re going after. We’ve got very strong partnerships with Comcast, with Nvidia, with T-Mobile, and where we’re developing solutions that are innovative that partners can take to market and be successful,” said Foreman.

Trifiro said the market opportunity is big for partners because customers don’t want to spend on capital expenditures (CapEx) anymore.

“You look at all of the AI opportunities that would have to operate on-premises that can now operate off premises and can be sold to the end customer as-a-service like with Vapor—it’s what the customers want,” said Vapor IO’s CMO. “They don’t want big CapEx AI expenditures. They want pay-as-you-go and let the vendors take more risk operating with OpEx. …. We do all the pre-integration, and we work out the dollar flows.”