Elfiq Networks Launches Channel Program

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The Elfiq Alliance, the five-year-old Montreal-based vendor's first official channel program, was launched to give Elfiq a stronger presence in reseller organizations. According to Elfiq's vice president of business development, Jean Pascal "JP" Hebert, Elfiq currently does more than 75 percent of its sales through the channel and hopes to increase that figure to 95 percent within a year.

"We're going to be able to provide key solutions to end users," Hebert said. "We want to give them access to an advanced piece of technology that will solve their problems. Resellers, VARs and consultants will gain access into a semi-greenfield market."

Hebert said VARs are increasingly charged with ensuring their customers' WAN links don't go down and, if they do, traffic is routed accordingly. Elfiq makes load-balancing solutions that ensure reliability of critical Internet and private network connectivity and optimize uptime. The Link Load Balancer provides redundant connectivity by balancing multiple Internet and private links across various providers. The appliance uses granular algorithms to allow for geographic balancing, quality of service management and VPN multiplexing ensuring proper allocation of bandwidth resources across the network.

Link Load Balancer as a dedicated management port, accessible via a secure SSH console or Elfiq's on GUI, give access to events and alert data on a remote syslog server. Installation requires no IP address migration or modification to existing firewall and router configurations.

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"We are committed to staying ahead of the curve with leading-edge technologies that provide greater resilience and performance for critical internet and private WAN links for businesses of all sizes," Hebert said. "The Alliance program is designed to allow our partners to expand their portfolio, capitalize on the growing WAN management market and provide mission-critical reliability solutions to an even broader base of customers."

The Elfiq Alliance program has three partner levels. The Elfiq Elite level is reserved for experienced network and telecom organizations with a desire to deliver complete solutions and includes enhanced competitive discounts, along with joint sales and marketing support. The sales requirements for the Elite level are still being finalized, Hebert said.

The Elfiq Partner level lets resellers offer the solutions to their customers, receive competitive discounts and benefit from Elfiq's resource and support program. At the Partner level resellers receive training, margins and additional incentives.

Lastly, Elfiq offers the Agent level, which comprises consultants and organizations that can earn rewards for recommending and positioning Elfiq product without actually reselling the products themselves.

Each level includes free training materials, pre-sales technical support and both sales and technical certification programs. Additionally, all reseller sales receive Elfiq's technical support.

Hebert added that margins are contractual and based on partner commitment.

The partner program, he said, opens the door to networking VARs that are looking to add complimentary solutions to what they already sell, like WAN acceleration solutions, switches and firewalls. Hebert said Elfiq also lends itself to service-intensive offerings and can be sold with implementation and services around it.

Bill Smeltzer, executive vice president and CTO of Focus Technology Solutions, a Seabrook, N.H.-based solution provider, said he sees Elfiq performing well in the midmarket where customers need a bandwidth upgrade but can't afford the expense.

"Elfiq is in the sweet spot," he said.

Elfiq's solutions, Smeltzer said, also open up new professional services opportunities in a market where it's usually difficult to add on services. He said he can add management and pre-configuration services into the mix.

"It's an interesting play into our product portfolio," he said, adding that solutions from competing vendors can often cost double or triple that of an Elfiq box.

"Where it really plays for us is in the midmarket," he said, adding that Focus considers that a company of 60 or so users with $15 million in revenue.

Elfiq's partner program, he said, also offers competitive margins. He said he's currently seeing about a 35 percent discount because the box is inexpensive and he rarely has to move from list price.

"They're a pretty well-kept secret," he said. "But customers are happy and the price is right. They have a good niche product and good margins. I could sell it all day."