Exinda Networks Launches Revamped Reseller Program

With the WAN optimization market heating up, and expected to only get hotter, Exinda Networks on Monday launched a new channel program to help VARs take advantage of the booming technology.

Exinda's new Fast Track Reseller Program offers resellers a chance to boost their revenue by offering Exinda's line of network visibility and optimization appliances, along with consulting services and ongoing monthly services for centralized monitoring, reporting and adjusting network policies.

Stan Schreyer, Exinda's vice president of North American sales, said the Fast Track program is in response to the WAN optimization and application acceleration markets experiencing a significant upturn. Gartner estimates that the worldwide WAN optimization controller market will grow from $972 million in 2007 to $2.67 billion in 2012, creating a strong opportunity for resellers. Schreyer added that Exinda's sweet spot is in the midmarket, an area that most WAN optimization vendors fail to hit because of high price points and complex solutions.

"Everybody's got good products, and everyone has differentiators in their product," Schreyer said, adding that Exinda's closest competition comes from Packeteer. But in the midmarket, Schreyer said, Exinda offers price points that are 25 percent to 40 percent lower than most of the competition, making the solutions affordable for smaller companies not working with an enterprise-sized budget.

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"We need to have a channel program that's really revamped," he said. "We're really focusing on those partners we want to engage. We asked partners: 'If you guys had your dream program, what would it be?'"

Schreyer said the Fast Track program was "designed by resellers for resellers. Everything is focused on making them successful."

Exinda's current offerings include: the x700 line of WAN optimization tools that include Layer 2 through Layer 7 monitoring, policy-based traffic shaping with QoS, compression, adaptive response, VoIP reporting and policy enforcement; the x800 family, which features the functionality of the x700 plus application acceleration, such as TCP and CIFS acceleration, WAN memory and caching; and the Service Delivery Point (SDP), a software as a service for centralized management and reporting of WAN optimization appliances through a Web browser that reports on key applications, performance statistics and resource utilization.

Exinda, based in Australia, is 100 percent channel focused and does not sell directly or through distributors, Schreyer said, ensuring that VARs will not have to compete in-house to sell solutions.

Erick Hill, president of AppSalute.com, a Goshen, Ky.-based solution provider, said he prefers partnering with vendors that are 100 percent channel focused, so he doesn't have to worry that the vendor will swoop in and hijack a potential account.

"That is a big piece of the pie for me," he said. "With some vendors there's always that risk of the vendor taking it direct"

The new Fast Track Reseller Program will have two tiers: Authorized and Premier partners. Schreyer said partners will receive WAN optimization training and certification; technical support; extensive support on customer evaluations; sales, marketing and lead generation support; deal registration; and margin enhancement opportunities.

Authorized Partners will have access to Exinda's partner portal, which offers access to tools and program information, and receive a monthly channel news letter. To maintain Authorized Partner status, resellers must participate in a minimum of four Web-based training sessions and meet a minimum revenue requirement of $10,000 per year.

Premier Partners are eligible for co-marketing initiatives. They also must develop a business and marketing plan, have engineering resources for implementation and provide pre-sales and post-sales support. Premier Partners must also achieve a minimum of $100,000 in annual sales.

Next: VARs Excited For New Program

Authorized partners will receive a discount level of 20 percent, while Premier Partners will receive a 30 percent discount level, Schreyer said.

Schreyer said by year's end Exinda hopes to have between 50 and 150 "engaged partners" offering consulting, sales and implementation and managed services around Exinda's products.

Brian Daughhetee, president of Applied Network Consulting Group, a Mauldin, S.C.-based solution provider, said offering both Exinda and Packeteer solutions helps him round out his target customer base, and gives him more of an inroad to the midmarket.

"The product is very feature rich," he said. "Side by side with Packeteer it's as good or better. And at a 20 percent to 25 percent cost savings, that's a key factor for some customers."

Daughhetee said he's going through Fast Track training now, pushing for Premier Partner status. In the three months he's offered Exinda, he already has three or four live installs up and running. He said it only took a few days to sell the first.

"I've been around long enough to see margins for hardware just about disappear," he said, adding that Exinda's Fast Track program is offering fair margins.

Dale Tesch, director of sales for Portsmouth, N.H., solution provider Invercence, said the Fast Track program will likely give him higher discount rates than his other partners. That, coupled with volume-based and other incentives will make an Exinda partnership profitable, he said.

"It seems to be a little bit more beneficial to work with a company like Exinda as opposed to a Riverbed or Cisco," he said. "And Exinda sets attainable goals. They're not unrealistic. They help you move toward growth from a reasonable perspective."

Tesch said Invercence focuses mostly on the SMB, an area that other WAN optimization vendors neglect.

"The sweet spot for my business is SMB," he said. "The way Cisco defines SMB is different from how we define SMB. Cisco makes a great enterprise product, but in the midmarket, small market, they just don't have it."

Differentiation is also key in Tesch's decision to partner with Exinda. While the vendor offers a solid product, he noted that when it comes down to it, he's typically the only VAR offering the client something different.

"If I walk into a WAN optimization opportunity, I'm the only one pitching Exinda," he said, adding that the differentiation has helped him win large clients, including a large non-profit that Cisco was also wooing. "We won hands down based on monitoring, performance and price."

Hill said Exinda is aggressive about pursuing short sales cycles. Hill inked his first Exinda deal in December. He said the value proposition is hard to ignore.

"The technology fits our customers," he said, adding that he targets the midmarket where pricing is a huge driver. "Their program is a 'get me up and running' approach."

Tesch added that the communication between Exinda executives and their VARs has so far been stellar, a level of service many larger vendors don't offer. "It's not like our voices are going unheard," he said. That ability to offer feedback and the updates to Exinda's channel program make it a win-win, he said.

"Right now we're making a ton of money with Exinda, it's phenomenal," Tesch said. "We're finding new customers who wouldn't have been interested in WAN optimization because of the price point. We always look for that one, new niche product that's out there. We want to make ourselves different than the rest."