Visual Networks Realigns Itself To VARs

The network and application performance management vendor launched a reinvigorated VAR partner program this week. The program offers incentives to solution providers to sell Visual Networks products, which can help detect and correct network latency that may drag down the performance of VoIP, Web-based applications, and Citrix deployments, said Owen Brennan, vice president of channel sales at the Rockville, Md., software vendor. "We want to reward those partners who invest in us."

The vendor's core product, Visual UpTime Select, has been expanded to offer LAN-oriented tools such as application performance monitoring and reporting in addition to its traditional ability to offer insight into WAN performance, said Brennan. In August, Visual Networks also released a VoIP assessment product, VoIP Advisor, that enables solution providers to diagnose the readiness of a customer network for a VoIP deployment, he said. For VARs, the lure of Visual Networks is the opportunity to upsell customers into Visual UpTime Select in order to improve network and application performance, or use the vendor's products as a way to start a conversation about adding VoIP, said Brennan.

Visual Networks looks to add as many as 50 or so new VAR partners to its current roster of about 100, said Brennan. The two-tier program rewards VARs based on sales volume, delivers leads to top performers, and provides a three-month deal registration program, he said.

Al Higgins, president of Interlink Communication Systems, a Visual Networks reseller in Clearwater, Fla., said the vendor's move from WAN-centric products to LAN-oriented ones opens up a lot more opportunity for VARs. "Their new product strategy has made their solutions much more palatable to the VAR channel," Higgins said.

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The vendor should get quick, positive traction in the channel from its new emphasis on VARs, Higgins said.

David Peikin, director of marketing and corporate communications at Visual Networks, said the loss of revenue due to the carrier mergers have really had an impact on the vendor's bottom line "It hit us pretty hard," he said.

On Tuesday, Visual Networks' stock closed at $1.45, above a 52 week low of $1.11 and below a high of $4.75 for the same period, according to the vendor.