Partners Say These 8 Companies Are The Best At Boosting Recurring Revenue

Which vendor is doing the best job helping partners increase recurring revenue? Here’s how 12 solution providers answered.

Solution providers looking for ways to increase sales and boost the value of their business are eyeing recurring revenue as the key to future success.

CRN spoke with solution providers attending this week's XChange 2020 conference in San Antonio, Texas, to find out which vendors are helping them the most as they move down the path to recurring revenue.

A wide array of vendors and distributors are playing pivotal roles in helping solution providers build up their cloud- and services-based portfolios.

Here's a look at some that got shout-outs from their partners.

Keith Nelson

VP of Technology

Vistem Solutions, Inc. (VSI)

Irvine, California

We just started working with Intermedia because we think what they offer also plays into security. They are moving the phone system to cloud, as well as email and file sharing, so you cut out the need for the VPN. What we're doing with Intermedia is cloud-enabling everything so you can be virtual at home and appear like you're in the office without being on the corporate network. We think that's a really good move as more and more people are becoming mobile workers.

We are working with Intermedia in a white-label, reseller model. It fit into the billing a little better. We didn't do [white-label] to hide the name -- I tell people who it is and their five-nines story -- but when we come in and say to a customer 'we are going to manage everything for you,' the one bill is key.

Maryann Pagano


BlackHawk Data

New York

Fortinet for us has been a really big player [with recurring revenue]. I don't think we realized the reach that Fortinet had. When you think of Fortinet, you think of firewalls and security, but they're way more than that. And I think that they're definitely helping a lot with recurring revenue. Because when we roll out SD-WAN for some city agencies, the recurring revenue for them is definitely greater. If I can get a lot of that traction, and I can build their trust, that's where the managed services piece comes in. Because it's not just the fact that I can do professional services for a few months while you roll out an SD-WAN to multiple sites--the goal is that they like you, they like the staff, they built the trust. And then you can pitch them the whole managed services solution … And if you bring them some recurring deals and you show them that you're committed to the partnership, when something else comes along [on the recurring side], they'll send it your way.

Eric Rockwell


MAP CyberSecure

Valencia, California

Microsoft is a great example. They don't give us a lot of partner funds or anything like that--they don't pay for educational events--but they do have a system that a lot of companies utilize that has to be secured. And they've done a great job making it possible to secure their technology stack. And we have a whole recurring revenue program just based around keeping that Microsoft stack secured--whether it's a Windows operating system, or Office 365, or anything else.

And here's the other thing for any managed security company that's a huge opportunity--Microsoft isn't going to just say, "Hey, if you want to buy a secure Windows it's right here, it's this version." That's not how it works. It's got all these bazillions of features, and it's up to you to configure it how your company needs it be configured to operate. So that's a big opportunity for managed security companies because we can help companies to secure what they have, and still make it usable, but less vulnerable to cyber criminals.

Dawn Sizer


3rd Element Consulting

Mechanicsburg , Pennsylvania

Pax8. The internal support that you can get through Pax8 is probably one of the best in the channel, in terms of, you don’t know what you don’t know – and Pax8 knows. They are willing to tell you what you don’t know and make sure you get every single dollar that you should be getting. That’s very important when you’re looking at a monthly recurring revenue steam of how to make with the best that we have or how do we leverage the Silver partnership that we have with Microsoft? They will tell you how to do that. They will match you up with the right people to make sure that your getting all the money and resources you should be getting or how do you get Microsoft to give you MDF funds. I’ve never seen another vendor do that as well as they do. If anybody ever tells you that vendor relationships don’t really mean anything – that’s completely untrue, especially in the channel.

Karen Penticost

Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships

Envision Technology Advisors

Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Microsoft because we are very very heavily focus in growing our Microsoft practice. Microsoft’s licensing is recurring. The Azure stack, Office 365, M365 – that’s where we’ve recently hired multiple Microsoft resources which is exciting. Our CTO is really growing the digital transformation part of the house which includes all of the Microsoft stack we need. Hardware is such a small part of the business now, it’s all software-subscription based, which is why we are betting on Microsoft.

Gary Meszaros

President of Operations

Global Online Computers

San Antonio, Texas

They’ve all really stepped up to the plate recently, but I think Intermedia has probably been one of our biggest partners that we deal with on reoccurring revenue.”

They’ve helped us by putting together programs so we can leverage all their tools and marketing funds and other parts of their business that makes us look like a bigger company than we are. It’s a very good partnership.

Ethan Millrood




Datto probably, right now. In terms of our recurring revenue model they’re making it easy as an MSP to offer a solution that provides continuity for our clients in an MSP model. It’s a predictable revenue stream that our clients contract for each month over a period of time.”

Allen Falcon


Cumulus Global

Westborough, Mass.

Datto's helping. They launched their MarketNow service, and we've used that both as a source of content to put through our own marketing systems as well as using their marketing system that's embedded within it. And we're starting to see some positive results there for cross-sell and upsell to our existing customer base. We've got a lot of people on [Datto's] SaaS Protection, and so we're reminding them that we can also provide the on-premise [version] and give them the unified continuity solution.

How it's helping us is because they have the service and the templates. I was able to put together a six-week long campaign — it took me two-and-a-half hours instead of two-and-a-half days. And the tools are there to monitor, manage, react, respond, so it's lowering my cost of running that marketing program. Without that in place, this would have been something I would have put off until Q3.

Rodd Ahrenstorff


KT Connections

Rapid City, South Dakota

One vendor that we work with is Arctic Wolf. They're essentially a security operations center-as-a-service, and again, the challenge for us being located in Rapid City, South Dakota, and working with small- to medium-sized businesses is getting enterprise-level security into those environments. Arctic Wolf has been a great partner, and their solution set enables us to do that. It's priced appropriately. The service is exceptional. Their support is fantastic. They meet with us periodically to review our customer accounts. Arctic Wolf and their security operations center-as-a-service, with an on-site appliance, has brought a higher level of security to our community banks that we work with, healthcare providers, etc, And it's all a recurring revenue model.

It was a service I couldn't sell before, so their model has good margins in it for us as a partner. It's a monthly recurring revenue that we get from the customer. It's a new revenue stream for us, and ultimately our hope is to provide that same quality of cybersecurity to all of our customers. Nobody wants ransomware. And we would prefer nobody pay the ransomware fine. It's been a challenge. We know customers need it. It just wasn't affordable in the past. We have security guys on our team, but I don't want to build a SOC. It's huge investment. And so, in my opinion, and we do this across our services: find a partner that can do it. And, in this case, Arctic Wolf is able to do it in the small- to medium-sized business space, and that's fantastic.

Luis Alvarez

CEO, President

Alvarez Technology Group

Salinas, California

We can attach a lot of services on what Microsoft is doing. Yes, we're selling Office 365. We sell Azure. But we're able to leverage that relationship to add our services at a premium. So it's not just about, OK, I'm selling a CSP license and I'm making 10 points or whatever it is. But I can sell Office 365, which means I can then talk about managing Office 365, which means I can talk about backup services for the cloud. And eventually it creates this bigger opportunity for us just because it's an Office 365 or Azure sale.

Everything we're trying to sell, everything we're doing for our clients, all revolves around monthly recurring revenue," he said. "If we are working with somebody, and they want Office 365 or Azure or sometimes some subset of the Azure platform, we can always say, 'We can manage that for you. Think how much more that's going to be for you.' And they're usually like, 'Yep, that works for us.'

Reagan Roney

Executive Vice President

Solvere One

Dulles, Virginia

With Sophos, I can wrap up a lot of products in in one bill.For security, I can get the firewall, endpoint protection, phishing protection, encryption, training, and backup and disaster recovery. So instead of saying, 'I can sell you all these different tools,' I can do it with one tool.

Mitzi Hernandez

Director of Purchasing and Sales Manager

BNB Technology

Norman, Oklahoma

I would say that right now, it's [IT distributor] D&H. HP has been starting to offer some things, but it's still a little unclear. D&H has been helping us build recurring revenue by reaching out more and getting into contact with us to help us move forward.