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Opengear Debuts Channel Partner Program With 'Elite Partner' Tier

Opengear, a ‘complimentary attach’ to Cisco, Juniper, and F5 Networks products, has created a new level that its high-performing partners can reach within its updated partner program, the firm told CRN.

Opengear, a provider of network monitoring, data center and IT infrastructure management, is letting partners in its program level-up to a new Elite Partner tier, Bryan Keepers, Opengear's director of channel sales, Americas, told CRN exclusively.

"Last year, 60 percent of our revenue was transacted though our Premier Partners and as we looked at those, there were a number of partners who have really grown fast. For 2020, we decided to carve out a tier for them," Keepers said.

Opengear's portfolio of solutions aimed at helping IT teams securely connecting to and managing their remotely-located networking gear is more timely than ever. The Piscataway, N.J.-based firm now does about 80 percent of its business though the channel.

[Related: Opengear Kicks Off First Partner Summit To Celebrate Channel Growth, Unveil New Resources]

Keepers joined Opengear in 2015 and launched the firm's first formal channel program in 2016 for resellers. Benefits of the channel program included marketing development funds, rebates, and trainings. Along the way, Opengear has added to its indirect channel team headcount with regional channel managers and last year, brought on a channel sales engineer to help support pre-sales.

Opengear has more than doubled its reseller count in the last four years to more than 500 partners. The firm also moved to a two-tier channel model and now transacts about 80 percent of its business through its IT distributor partners, Ingram Micro and Synnex. In 2019, Opengear did almost 10X in sales through the Americas channel compared to 2014 when it began working with the channel.

"We've had a lot of success and we're really excited about what we can offer our partners in 2020 and beyond," he said.

Opengear's channel partner program's Elite Partner tier is an addition to the program's Authorized Partner and Premier Partner levels, Keepers said.

Elite tier partners can expect benefits such as customized marketing materials, access to turnkey demand generation campaigns, and product sample budgets. Opengear is also adding resources to help support channel growth, Keepers said, which includes a significantly-increased marketing spend and the addition of a full-time employee in the Chicago area to support one of Opengear's top reseller partners.

Opengear is seeing the most growth with resellers and MSP partners that understand the value of Opengear's technology and how it can fit into their customers' businesses, Keepers said.

"Resellers consistently selling our products see that we are a complimentary attach to routing, switching, and firewall companies like Cisco, Juniper, F5 Networks, and Riverbed," he said. "And companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Comcast are using our solution in their infostructure to help support their business, so we can take that story back to resellers to talk to them about the benefits of selling our products."

Opengear's top eight partners -- the ones that get it, according to Keepers, are seeing significant revenue growth as a result. The firm's top eight partners saw 40 percent revenue growth year-over-year in 2019, he added.

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