We were stumped. We knew we had a good SaaS solution for the SMB and mid-market. We knew I.T. service providers were often engaged with our prospects to manage their computing environments. But we couldn’t connect the two successfully. In our mind it was a no-brainer. What we needed to do was to flip our perspective and see the problem through the channel partner’s eyes.
Imagine you have a (successful?) channel business. You are starting to see the I.T. world change around you. Customers are moving/have moved to the cloud, they are buying applications directly and questioning your value. You may have successfully transitioned from selling hardware to now selling software, or from being a “break-fix” shop to a managed service provider. But the writing is on the wall. And there are hundreds of SaaS applications in every imaginable category. What you really need is a navigator who has been there before and worked with many of your peers to transition their businesses.
Yes, there are consultants and trusted authorities who can tell you what you need to do (full disclosure - I’m one of them). They play am important role in helping you determine if you have a channel strategy. But not too many companies who can get you there. That’s where SaaSMAX comes in.
I’ve known Dina Moskowitz, the CEO and founder of SaaSMAX, for over 5 years. She and her team have pitched me a few times when I was developing SaaS channels in the past. I’ve seen her company grow and evolve. But it wasn’t until I spent two days in Florida with Dina and her team at ITExpo that I really got it. I participated in almost a hundred conversations with channel partners of all shapes and sizes. No-one else offers channel partners the experience and advice to help them transition and grow their recurring revenue businesses. And no-one else is working harder to connect SaaS ISVs to channel partners who serve their target markets. Because she has firmly placed SaaSMAX in the middle of this market, providing value-added services to channel partners and then matching them to the right suites of SaaS solutions that will differentiate them.
But surely the role of an intermediary between channel partners and vendors isn’t new, is it? Yes, there have always been intermediaries in the channel. Third parties who have relationships with multiple vendors and channel partners. But in the past these have typically been pure distributor relationships, based on access to favorable financing for the channel partners. They haven’t played a proactive role in helping those channel partners understand which solutions really are a fit for them as they transition their businesses. Or creating demand for ISVs’ solutions.
SaaSMAX has hired a team of experienced advisors who have been channel partners and have developed and managed software (and SaaS) channels, and are now turning that experience in to a business to help channel partners transition their businesses, and to connect ISVs with the right partners. And they are now building a rich set of technology tools to facilitate the matching process and change how the channel presents those solutions to their customers.
Sounds easy, right? Go ahead, try develop a channel without a skilled navigator. Let me know how it goes.