Cisco’s AppDynamics Goes 100 Percent Channel: Exclusive

Cisco-owned AppDynamics is following its parent company’s lead and going 100 percent channel, Mark Maslach, VP of global channels and strategic alliances for AppDynamics, tells CRN exclusively.


Cisco Systems’ application performance monitoring software arm AppDynamics is officially going all-in on the channel.

The company, which has historically done about 70 percent of its business through channel partners, is kicking it up to 100 percent in keeping with its parent company Cisco’s channel-first sales motion, Mark Maslach, vice president, global channels and strategic alliances for AppDynamics, told CRN.

“We’ve made the decision to become fully partner centric, just like Cisco,” Maslach said. “Now is the perfect time for AppDynamics and our partners to go after this massive market opportunity we have in full stack observability, globally, along with Cisco.”

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More than 80 percent of AppDynamics’ business went through the channel last year. That percentage has only been ticking up in recent years, the company said. AppDynamics’ new channel-only approach will give partners more confidence to continue to invest in AppDynamics, Maslach said.

To support its extended channel efforts, AppDynamics updated its profitability model through ‘stackable margins,’ which rewards solution providers for serving up complex solutions to their end customers.

“Our sales teams have realized just how capable our partners are and the investments our partners have made over the past several years have given us a lot of confidence that they are very capable in this market,” Maslach said.

Application performance is a highly complex environment that will become more challenging as virtualization continues, Maslach said. “What‘s been driving the success for our partners, I think, is their ability to help our customers transform and transform things more quickly,” he said.

AppDynamics’ Global Partner Program will have a new level -- a top tier Elite level of about 15 partners -- which will join the existing Titan and Alliance levels, the company said. The Elite tier will offer more channel engineering, sales, and marketing resources to the company’s most involved partners.

The Elite and Titan tier will also be eligible to participate in AppDymanics’ Partner Advisory board that will be launching later this year, Maslach said.

Top Cisco and AppDynamics partner World Wide Technology (WWT) has been aggressively pursuing the opportunity around AIops and full-stack observability, said Tanner Bechtel, global director of AIOPS for WWT. “The positive changes being made to the AppDynamics Partner Program and the creation of the new Elite tier promise to provide even more opportunities for WWT to refine and strengthen the relationship with AppDynamics and Cisco. These changes will enable us to provide richer, more effective customer solutions, and ensure an even more beneficial partnership to all of us,” Bechtel said in an email.

The company is also improving access to market development funds for its partners, as well as sales and engineering bootcamps that are tied into Cisco‘s flagship Black Belt IT training academy, Maslach said.

“This is definitely an ongoing effort by all of our engineering teams, specifically the channel engineering team, to make sure that our partners are being enabled the right way and constantly tying that enablement back to Cisco,” he said.