Mirapoint Sees MSP Potential In Appliances

Mirapoint&'s Managed E-mail and E-mail Security Services Partner Program is an effort to raise awareness among VARs that Mirapoint appliances can be used to offer secure, remotely managed e-mail services to customers, said Craig Carpenter, director of corporate marketing and global channels at Mirapoint, Sunnyvale, Calif.

“These boxes have been ripe to run managed services for many years,” Carpenter said. “And we want to see more partners do that.”

Mirapoint&'s Message Server and RazorGate appliances—which start at about $10,000 and can support tens of thousands of e-mail users—are resold by more than 100 VAR partners in the United States, but only about 10 of them use the appliances as MSPs, Carpenter said.

Mirapoint aims to change that with the new program and is offering free technical certification and sales training to VARs that purchase an appliance with the intention of offering managed e-mail services, he said. If a VAR chooses not to buy a Mirapoint appliance but wants to resell managed e-mail services, Mirapoint will direct the VAR to its larger MSPs. Those MSPs, acting as whole-salers, could then charge $5 per man-aged e-mail account, for example, which the reseller can mark up to $9 per account, Carpenter said. Craig Richardson, vice president of sales and marketing at Care Factor Computer Services, a 17-year-old VAR in Calgary, Alberta, that has been a Mirapoint partner for about two years, has coupled Mirapoint products with Care Factor&'s ISP business. E-mail management is a volume-driven business that can be very lucrative, Richardson said.

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The Mirapoint appliances work in MSP fashion by redirecting messaging traffic from the customer site to the appliances, Carpenter said. The system can be designed so that VARs reselling the managed e-mail services of a wholesaler can appear to be hosting the service themselves, he said.

For VARs willing to purchase their own appliance, Mirapoint will provide free certification, a process that takes about one day on-site with the VAR, Carpenter said. Free sales training is also provided, along with MSP marketing strategies and other sales assistance.

Emphasis on rapid ROI is key to the new program, he said.