Opengear Launches Channel Certification Program To Give Partners ‘Skin In The Game:’ Exclusive

Opengear’s new Channel Certification Program will help partners communicate the value of complex networking infrastructure and management products, the company’s channel chief, Bryan Keepers, tells CRN.


Opengear, a provider of network monitoring, data center and IT infrastructure management, is launching a Channel Certification Program to help solution providers become more knowledgeable and more independent.

The new Channel Certification Program has been designed with presales engineers and solution architects in mind. The program will help partners increase their Opengear revenue by being able to communicate the value of complex networking infrastructure and management products, as well as emerging technology, such as IoT and edge computing, the company said.

“It’s giving us skin in the game on both sides,” Bryan Keepers (pictured), Opengear’s director of channel sales, Americas, told CRN exclusively. “The more [partners] know about our products and the more comfortable they are talking about it, the more success.”

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Opengear’s Channel Certification Program, unveiled Monday, eventually will have four models, with four sections per model, Keepers said. The first model, available immediately, will give partner organizations a high-level overview of Opengear’s technology, specifically, the company’s Lighthouse out-of-band management software. The first model will be followed by “deeper dives” aimed at expanding sales teams’ knowledge of the offerings and their features. “We want to get [partners] to the point where they can walk through our solutions—hardware and software—the same way our sales engineers do,” Keepers said.

The program, which will reside in Opengear’s partner portal, will include a test for each of the four sections within each model. “I expect we are going to have a lot of takers on this [program],” he said. “Success to us will look like revenues rising with our strategic partners that we are making investments in.”

The Piscataway, N.J.-based company introduced an Elite Partner tier to its five-year-old channel program in March. The Elite level is seeing “phenomenal growth” since its launch , Keepers said.

Opengear’s portfolio of offerings, which is helping IT teams securely connect and manage their remotely located networking gear, is more timely than ever due to stay-at-home mandates driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

“In the current age we’re living in where everything is remote and we can’t send someone into a building, our business has been really good this year,” he said.

Keepers said that Opengear is seeing growth of nearly 40 percent in the past nine months just from its Elite partners. “These partners are investing in us and we are returning it in kind, so we are seeing a lot of success there,” he added.

Opengear does about 80 percent of its business though the channel.

The certification program, said Keepers, is the “next step” in Opengear’s channel maturation process.