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New Array Networks Channel Program Looks To Spark MSP Boom

‘We've moved into the MSP space because we understand how to address customer churn, and align revenue to expenses,’ says Michael Stewart, Array channel chief. ‘We expect over 2019 to quadruple the number of MSPs we have in our portfolio.’

Array Networks says it expects to quadruple the number of MSPs it works with over the next year thanks to a new program designed to enhance virtualized network and security offerings for partners looking to up their game by offering service level agreements and supporting mission-critical workloads for enterprise customers.

"We've moved into the MSP space because we understand how to address customer churn, and align revenue to expenses," said Michael Stewart, Array channel chief. "We expect over 2019 to quadruple the number of MSPs we have in our portfolio."

Stewart's confidence comes as Array introduces its ASAP partner program. The program seeks to ease the pain of VARs looking to make the transition from a traditional, hardware-focused sales strategy to a recurring revenue model, and help MSPs differentiate their offerings with SLAs.

"MSPs are already selling services, and we provide augmentation rather than replacement," Stewart said. "Many have tried to do networking and security on existing servers, but it's very IO intensive. Now, MSPs can sell services they couldn't before. And many small MSPs haven't been able to sell SLAs. Sales guys are going to love this, it's more money for them, and they can call on enterprises they couldn't call on before."

The underpinnings of the ASAP program include a three-year lease-to-own plan to make transitioning to a recurring revenue sales model a little easier for traditional VARs. The plan works through several leasing firms, making what used to be a $100,000 box a $3,000-a-month purchase, Stewart said.

Array's platform is open, but partners that use both its server hardware and network virtualization capabilities can see margins between 30- and 40 percent, Stewart said. Partners that use the Array platform in combination with other vendors earn margin from the individual vendors, he said.

ASAP also offers 24/7 support, hands-on training at partner facilities, and sales training centered on selling services.

Array's AVX line of network functions platforms is essentially a server with virtualization specific to networking and security. The platform is open and supports network and security functions from either Array or other vendors. Stewart said the company has had particular success working with Cisco, Juniper, Sophos, F5, PaloAlto Networks and Symantec.

The aim for resellers, Stewart said, is consolidating multiple appliances into one or two rack units for customers, which in some cases can drastically reduce rack space, power, cooling and cabling.

Bill Rubin, CEO of Connect IT Solutions, a San Mateo, Calif., solution provider that works with Array, said the AVX platform's flexibility allows Connect to punch above its weight.

"It actually gives us the agility that we expect from a virtual appliance, and performance that a generic server can't provide," Rubin said. Also, "it really helps reduce the complexity of instantiating virtual network or security appliances. I like it enough that I've brought it to the attention of a large, global technology firm just for that purpose."

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