Agito Looks To Deepen Channel Focus

To achieve that, Agito has tapped Sheila Kuri, former Proxim Wireless distribution channels head, as its new director of North American channels. Kuri, who joined the Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup less than one month ago, is charged with directing and growing Agito's channel programs and delivering its solutions through an increasingly important network of solution providers.

Agito makes the RoamAnywhere Mobility Router, an enterprise fixed-mobile convergence appliance that fuses Wi-Fi, cellular, IP telephone and location information to boost the accessibility and productivity of mobile workers, while also decreasing corporate mobility costs. The solution offers seamless handoffs between WLAN and cellular networks while also supporting a broad range of mobile devices and IP-PBX solutions.

Kuri is a 15-year channel veteran. Before Proxim she was director of western region channels for Verilink and director of channel sales for Madge Networks, a position in which she helped drive revenue growth from $9 million to $20 million in two years. Kuri has also held positions with Standard MicroSystems and Emulex.

As Kuri brings her history in the channel to Agito, she said getting Agito solutions into partners' hands is job No. 1.

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"We're somewhat inundated with requests to become a partner," Kuri said in an exclusive interview with ChannelWeb, adding that many of Agito's 15 current partners came aboard as part of Agito's relationship with Cisco Systems, which recently involved Cisco selecting Agito RoamAnywhere to integrate into its Mobility Services Engine (MSE), an appliance-based open API platform that centralizes and scales a broad set of mobility services. That integration has boosted Agito's visibility within Cisco's channels.

Kuri said Agito has an advantage in the channel, because its technology can touch different types of practices, including wireless LAN, VoIP and unified communications providers, all of which have customers looking to extend their reach through mobility.

"The mobility strategies of companies are migrating to really pervasive mobility," Kuri said, noting that companies want to integrate applications and deliver a rich mobile work environment.

Additionally, Kuri said, offering Agito solutions enables VARs to add value to their existing offerings. IP PBX solution providers can tack on a RoamAnywhere Router and tell customers a mobility story, while WLAN and UC VARs can do the same, extending their product offerings while also tying in services like consultation, installation and maintenance.

According to Kuri, Agito's channel program offers strong revenue opportunities and high-margin incentives -- because FMC is a relatively new and developing market -- along with technical assistance, training and marketing support. She said Agito partners can extend their bill of material to boost revenue and differentiate their offerings, be it WLAN, VoIP or UC, by adding business value and letting them further penetrate their largest accounts while seeking new accounts.

By year's end, Kuri said, she hopes Agito has 24 partners. By the end of 2009, she said she expects partner numbers to hit about 40. And while Kuri admits that doesn't sound like a huge ramp-up, Agito is targeting specialized partners.

"We're talking about managed granularity and successful launching of partnerships," Kuri said. "Elevating their skill level is really the key,"

Kuri said Agito plans to launch a formalized program in the next few weeks, and is ramping up its technical and sales training initiatives. She said she wants to get partners a solid level of technical understanding to help them better offer Agito solutions. Agito is also offering deal registration and will launch a suite of joint marketing and sales initiatives, along with a partner portal that offers sales tools and technology tools.

"Coordination of all of these aspects is really key," she said. "And that's what I plan to bring."