CRN Exclusive: SaaS-Based Network Startup Kentik Launches First-Ever Global Partner Program

Network traffic intelligence startup Kentik has taken the wraps off its first-ever Global Partner Program, aimed at driving net new SaaS sales for channel partners from the likes of Cisco and Juniper Networks.

"Kentik is the only provider of traffic-based network and business analytics. We're a very open SaaS company with enough margin that we have plenty to share with partners," said Kentik CEO Avi Freedman, in an interview with CRN. "Partners that we've seen are often not just selling Kentik, but using Kentik to layer in more of their services, whether it's consulting, or set up and monitoring, or security solutions on top. Our platform becomes a repository of the enterprise or carrier's data, it's then very easy to layer professional services or compose services on top of it."

The San Francisco-based startup launched its inaugural partner program on Thursday with no up-front costs to solution providers to join.

[Related: Springpath Will Drive HyperFlex Innovation, Giving Cisco More 'Firepower' Against HPE-SimpliVity, Partners Say]

Sponsored post

Kentik's flagship Detect solution leverages big data for network visibility, performance monitoring, DDoS protection and real-time analytics to protect applications and service performance. The big data platform is purpose-built to turn network data into intelligent insight for digital operations through ad-hoc analytics and anomaly detection.

The new channel program has two categories: Kentik Advocate Partners and Kentik Reseller Partners. Advocate Partners include independent sales agents and small consulting firms looking to introduce next-generation solutions to clients, while Reseller Partners are solution providers aiming to grow their top line with Kentik's network analytics technologies.

"The sweet spot we've seen are the partners selling technologies into carriers and enterprises that have had a great run with the classic network equipment and appliances vendors, but see their customers starting to go towards cloud, buying more services and wanting modern offerings to bring to those advanced clients," said Freedman. "They're the customers looking at SD-WAN, analytics and business intelligence – that's really where we can take a solution provider that is used to getting a chunk of a one-time sale and much less recurring revenues, and turn it into a profitable annual stream."

Other than the rebates and incentives inside the program, Kentik is heavily focused on field marketing partner enablement. Freedman said field marketing is where Kentik has seen the "best bang" and captured the "biggest leads" for partner development funding.

"We compensate our reps the same whether it's a direct or channel deal. Everyone on the Kentik side is incented the same whether it popped in the pipeline from them or the partner," said Freedman

The network startup has onboarded just a few dozen partners thus far including Edgeworx, Net One Systems, Interdata and Myriad Supply.

"With digital transformation taking shape … Kentik has produced a powerful analytics platform that helps to address networking needs," said Myriad CEO Andrew Fisher.

The startup's channel charge is led by Jim Frey, vice president of strategic alliances. Frey was vice president of research for Enterprise Management Associates until joining Kentik in 2015. He has also held the title of vice president of marketing for NetScout.

Approximately 90 percent of Kentik's overall revenues come from direct sales versus 10 percent indirect. With the launch of the channel program and partner recruitment effort, Kentik hopes to get that number to 50-50 within the next few years.

"We're all about growth, and we think that the channel is key. It's been great for us so far, but now we're doubling down on it," said Freedman.