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Infoblox debuts new channel programme

by Stuart Wilson, Tuesday 28 February 2012

Network control solutions outfit Infoblox has whipped the covers off a new channel programme designed to help channel partners access new opportunities and boost profitability. The new partner programme, which is called ‘Invest & Profit’ (IP), is designed to help channel partners address pressing enterprise IT issues including virtualisation, cloud, datacentre consolidation, security, compliance and IPv6 readiness.

Infoblox reckons that conventional approaches to operating and managing an enterprise IT network – often manual, time-consuming, error-prone and siloed – have been pushed to their limits by the proliferation of IP-connected devices, the increasing mobility of end users and new virtual and cloud-application delivery models that are driving the need for a dynamic network.

According to Infoblox, the network now needs to conform to a constantly changing computing and application delivery environment. As a result, automated network tools and purpose-built systems are quickly becoming a necessity for enterprise IT departments.

Infoblox hopes to empower its channel partners to help enterprise IT departments weather this transition by narrowing the automation gap with its automated network control solutions and offering through the new Infoblox channel IP programme.

The new programme includes a host of industry-standard offerings, including tiered discounts, deal registration, partner portal, training and enablement tools. Infoblox also hopes to drive knowledge transfer through access to free training programmes for advanced certifications that enable partners to better educate customers. There will also be dedicated marketing finds and tailored lead generation programmes to help improve the prospect pipeline. Infoblox will also aim to raise customer awareness by subsidising the investment required from channel partners to establish demonstration facilities.

The programme also hopes to foster the close alignment of Infoblox’s sales and channel team members with Infoblox elite partners, a select group of top 50 partners around the world, to help perform targeted joint marketing, education and demand-generation events.

“We are very pleased with the partner community reception to our channel IP programme; their interest illustrates the need for a clearly differentiated partner programme in this rapidly changing market, and we are happy to be the one addressing this need,” said Tim Colby, Infoblox VP of worldwide channels.

“Infoblox is committed not only to investing in our partners but also to empowering them to increase and accelerate the outcome of their pipeline opportunities with richer marketing offerings, shared expertise and a more concentrated focus on our best partners,” Colby continued.

Partner praise

Infoblox partners in EMEA responded well to the details of the new partner programme.

“We are excited to be part of the new Infoblox partner programme that focuses on helping us deliver the most innovative solutions and value-added services to our customers,” said Stefaan Hinderyckx, network integration and security director for Dimension Data Europe, an ICT services and solutions provider.

“Given Infoblox’s expertise in IP management and the automated capabilities their systems deliver, we are keen to align with them more and help our clients put some efficiency and sanity back in their increasingly complex IT environments,” Hinderyckx added.

Dr. Matthias Rosche, director of business development and consulting at Integralis, said: “As an Infoblox Channel IP partner, we are excited about the new investments Infoblox has made in the program; these will help us accelerate our overall pipeline of opportunities and bring more value to our enterprise customers.”

Mathias Bachsleitner, strategic alliance manager EMEA at Integralis, added: “We’re extremely pleased with the unique elements of Infoblox’s channel programme. With the investments and incentives offered by Infoblox clearly aligned to our growth and customer acquisition goals, it’s one of the most progressive partner programmes I’ve seen in a long time, setting the stage for everyone involved to profit.”

EMEA perspective

Tariq Ahmed, director of EMEA channels at Infoblox, provided some insight into the regional outlook and the advantages that the vendor’s new channel programme would hopefully offer to partners and enterprise customers alike.

“[Enterprise customers] want someone coming in and telling them how to increase operational efficiencies,” said Ahmed. “IT budgets are decreasing and customers need to do more for less through automation.”

Infoblox has changed its go-to-market approach through the development and launch of its new partner programme.

Ahmed explained: “Infoblox previously sold directly but the fulfilment was through channel partners and distributors.”

Infoblox now intends to work much more closely with its 50 elite partners of which 15 operate in EMEA. In terms of additional resellers – holding either core partner or VAR status – Infoblox is moving more towards integration specialists as opposed to security resellers. This transition is designed to help Infoblox access a new group of buyers within enterprise IT environments.

Ahmed, who previously worked at Check Point and Cisco, is keen to emphasise Infoblox’s commitment to its channel programme and partners. “We want a channel that is both commercially and technically enabled,” he explained. “I have more channel marketing at Infoblox in EMEA that I had at Cisco for 100-plus emerging markets.”

Infoblox has reintroduced and reinforced its deal registration process and is looking for its channel partners to step up in terms of the delivery of professional services to customers.

“The channel has the skills, the resources and the professional services that are required and end-users do require help,” continued Ahmed. “As a company, Infoblox is not investing in building up our own professional services. This is where the channel can operate.”

Infoblox believes that the cutting-edge nature of its solutions enables related professional service sales for partners. In contrast, selling professional services alongside mature technologies is inherently more difficult because the necessary skills may already exist within an enterprise customer’s IT team.

“We don’t want hundreds of partners fighting for a dozen deals,” said Ahmed. “We want to keep the street price as high as possible for as long as possible to help channel partners make margin.”

Infoblox is already addressing emerging markets in EMEA with dedicated staff in Dubai and Moscow and plans to increase headcount.

“Emerging markets embrace technology at a different pace,” said Ahmed. “They can leapfrog to the latest technology and solutions because there is no legacy infrastructure in place.”


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