SDN Provider Megaport Taking Partner Relationships To ‘The Next Level’

The SDN specialist is upping its channel focus substantially after being inspired by its own partnerships with channel-friendly Cisco and Fortinet. To that end, Megaport has unveiled a new channel program: PartnerVantage.


Software-defined networking specialist Megaport has rolled out a new channel program to arm partners with the resources they need to land sales for increasingly demanded networking as a service and cloud connectivity solutions.

The Australian company has historically focused on direct sales, with the channel making up about 30 percent of its sales. Now, Megaport is courting the channel with the hopes of raising that figure to more than 75 percent over the next three years, Rodney Foreman, Megaport’s chief revenue officer, told CRN.

Foreman said that the reason Megaport was inspired to turn its attention to the channel is because of its technology partnerships with Cisco and Fortinet, two channel-focused technology leaders that are cleaning up with the help of partners.

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“With [Cisco’s] thousands of partners and with Fortinet being 100 percent channel, it just made sense for us to shift our business and go more towards the channel and doing business with partners,” he said.

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The Megaport PartnerVantage program, revealed on Aug 3, is putting partners in the driver’s seat of their businesses with Megaport and lets solution providers easily track deal registrations and incentives. It’s also integrated with a transactional portal -- VantageTransact -- that lets partners and customers buy Megaport solutions that can be provisioned and operational minutes, instead of weeks later, Foreman said.

Foreman previously ran channel businesses for Nutanix and IBM. “I know what very complex, complicated channel programs can look like. This is the opposite of that,” he told CRN.

Using the VantageTransact portal to buy services and the speed at which the solutions can be operational is one of Megaport’s big differentiators, Foreman said. “No other as a service vendor offers that today. None,” he said.

Megaport in the past hasn’t focused on its indirect business, but the new program demonstrates that it’s ready to get serious with partners, said Paul Comito, CEO of SecurITon Technologies, a MSP and Megaport partner.

“It’s exciting times For Megaport to undertake such a channel partnership and with the products that they have, this is the next level for them with partners,” Comito said. “I think Megaport has stepped up their game as of late, and we’re looking at doing more together and building on that trusted relationship.”

South Melbourne, Australia-based SecurITon Technologies now has a dedicated channel manager that frequently meets with the firm and is often involving SecurITon in new customer deals, Comito said. “We’ve got someone to talk to, which is really important for a partner,” he added.

Megaport said it’s the only network as a service company on the market today with a partner program that supports the complete ecosystem of channel partners, regardless of whether a partner considers itself a reseller, a system integrator, MSP or agent partner, Foreman said. “Our program is designed to meet your specific needs by partner type,” he added.

The company is also adding more headcount to support its sharpened channel focus, including channel and enablement managers. While the company will still have a direct sales team and solution architects, their focus will be on making partners successful in the market. “They will get paid when our partners sell, so there’ll be no channel conflict at all,” Foreman said.

Megaport has about 300 partners today across Europe, North America, Canada, and Asia Pacific, according to the company.