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Entries Tagged as 'VAR channel'

Professional subscriptions for eBox partners

June 23rd, 2010 · No Comments

In general in the open source realm, and specifically regarding to subscriptions, the best known and more successful company is (not surprisingly) called Red Hat.

Red Hat has thrilled based on a business model of selling subscriptions for his Linux servers, and they explain very well the value of Red Hat Subscriptions at their corporate website, using a language mostly oriented to final customers.

In a couple of posts, I am interested in putting some light on the benefits of eBox Professional Subscriptions, but from the point of view of  the eBox Partners who sell them.

For the sake of this post extension , I will talk only about eBox Professional Subscriptions, as Enterprise Subscriptions offer a different (and extra) value to partners. Then, from our website:

eBox Professional Subscription is intended for use in production environments in small and medium businesses. The subscription comes with a full version of the eBox Platform software and it includes Quality Assured software updates, guaranteed by eBox Technologies.

Furthermore, the Professional Subscription includes access to Virtual CIO that provides alerts on hardware functioning, network events, service availability and Internet connection, as well as weekly/monthly reports on the overall performance of the network and services, inventory on installed and active services and regular security audits on the system.

Quality software updates combined with Virtual CIO imply a couple of very straight forward values for partners:

  • Security. The subscribed machines will have QA updates, meaning that eBox Technologies tests the patches and bugfixes internally and release them in its own repository, certifying that they won’t cause any problem. Therefore, the software installed at their customers just works, and it is automatically updated without any hassle for partners.
  • Client loyalty. Additionally, partners will have all the diagnosis tools of the Virtual CIO (see above) and the possibility to contract 3rd level support from eBox. Reports and alerts, automatically generated, allow partners both to keep the servers up and justify the service given to customers without extra effort.

A consequence of security and client loyalty is more income with less effort for partners:

  • Cash flow & low workload for the partner: Instead of charging a big amount of money per license (Microsoft model), eBox focuses on charging small annual fees to managed clients’ servers, sharing the benefits with the partner with very reduced (or zero) extra workload for them.

eBox certified Partners keep selling their own services for consultancy, deployment and technical support (the latest optionally backed by eBox), but with a complement for increasing security and and client loyalty, in form of eBox Professional Subscriptions.

Tags: VAR channel

Building a VAR channel

June 1st, 2010 · No Comments

I remind a conversation with Marten Mickos, recently named CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, about building a VAR channel, a year ago (during the Innovate Europe! 2009, which eBox was one of the ten finalists). Marten was our mentors there, he told us loud and clear that building a VAR channel was hard, really hard.

Marten, you were so right! After working on eBox partner program during the whole 2009 Summer, eBox signed its first 3 official partners on September 2009. 9 months and over 200 partners worldwide petitions later, we have evolved our partner program to a more easy to understand and customer-oriented one.

From a DIY services offering based only on 3rd level technical support, to a server and on-line services subscriptions one, with public prices and growing discounts for partners depending on partnership levels (well known Bronze, Silver and Gold). More simple and packaged seem to be better.

Having certified and signed more than 20 so far, with ten currently in the certification process, during June we are reaching the 30 certified partners mark. All of our certified partners employ from 1 to 3 eBox certified technicians, who have completed the on-line course “eBox for network administrators”.

On the other hand, surprisingly, over 30% of the +200 companies that have requested us for partnership stated they were selling eBox already somehow, shaping a rich ecosystem of officially certified and non certified eBox providers. The more options, the best for our clients and community… The complexity of open source ecosystems is so complex as fascinating .

Still struggling to build a worldwide eBox VAR channel, we keep evolving our products and services to make them more simple to understand, sell, deploy and manage.

Marten’s MySQL lasted not less than 3 years to build a credible VAR channel, let’s see where we are able to reach in 9 months from now. Stay tunned.

Tags: VAR channel