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Throughout the years of working in technology I have learned firsthand how powerful relationships and partnerships can be to your organization.    No matter the size of the partner, partner programs are so powerful that many large tech companies use them including Microsoft, Oracle, eBay, and thousands more.  Colin Martin joins 420MSP to talk about the success of a partner program and some of the key aspects that need to be incorporated. 


Video Transcription

Harry Brelsford  0:04   Hey, hey 420 MSP. We’re charging hard into this segment we continue to do so Colin, thank you for the compliment of my green shirts during rehearsals. I appreciate that. It’s it’s not the kind of green you think, okay, it actually my son went to Cal Poly in Central California and aerospace. But hey, you know, we’re talking 420MSP. What’s the default color palette in our industry?

Colin Martin  0:33 That’s right.


Harry Brelsford  0:33 So we’re back with VIGILIX. Did I get that right? You say your company name better than me?

Colin Martin  0:39 VIGILIX? Yes. VIGILIX. Okay.

Harry Brelsford  0:42   And last time, we did a Hello World. And, you know, thank you. I mean, good for me, good for you. And we find ourselves at the RSPA cannabis community meetings once a month. But outside of that you have a partner program. And what’s interesting to me about that, I don’t know if I had this talk with you. But in my travels in the Cannatech, vertical, very few ISVs. And others are embracing a channel partner program. They’re all there, they’re all focused on going to react and I try to have a talk with them about you know, the community I came up through with SMB Nation, and now they’re MSPs. And call on some of these people, they don’t even know what an MSP is. You do. And you speak towards data over on your partner page, your partnership page. So let’s start with the VAR How can I be a VAR partner with you? Well, that’s,

Colin Martin  1:39 that’s really super simple. You just need to talk to me. Or Trevor, on my team, right. You know, we we have what we have areas, we have partnership guidelines, right? I mean, we have a path that the partner needs to be in, but we don’t really have a formalized, you know, you know, set of rules and regs. It’s just but but in terms of what we follow, we very rarely run into channel conflict, we have about 150 VAR partners of VIGILIX. And so, you know, we’ve thought through well, should we have, should we incorporate a sort of, you know, religious use of deal registration as part of our partner program. And, and we haven’t yet because quite frankly, we can handle that comes up so infrequently, that we can handle those sort of on the fly. But we are very open with our partners that if you’re pursuing Five Guys, or if you’re pursuing Marriott Hotels, and you want to let us know, so that we let everybody else knows if it happens to come up again, with with other partners that we’re talking to, then great, we will take that, and that’ll be yours. That’ll be your set aside until it it isn’t, right until it’s not until it’s not. And so, so we’re very one of our core values is respect. And respecting that channel relationship, respecting that deal pipeline that they have, is maybe the biggest part of that, in terms of what we do. So, you know, it’s not like we have it super formalized. But it’s definitely a part of what we do. And it’s definitely a part of our conversation with our partners. I

Harry Brelsford  3:33 Well, like that actually. Because, you know, I grew the SMB nation community. My personality is somewhat informal, it drives formal people crazy. And, and but that, you know, you gotta you got to be who you are. And we have had, you know, just this cool, groovy loose community, right? We don’t, we don’t have all these forms you have to fill out. And in what I see with some channel partner programs, when I put my analyst hat on, where’d that go? I’ll have to go find it. But the complexity? I mean, you know, call I mean, you get you get up into some of the Fortune ones and names we both know. And the complexity and the forms and the portals and the shifts, like just just take me out back. That’s That’s not what I signed up for as a geek. Right. So I would encourage you to keep it simple. I’m not even hearing the Olympic medals. I’m not hearing bronze, silver gold in your program. So that yeah, that’s fine. That’s fine. Let’s talk ISV. So what’s your ISV partner program?

Colin Martin  4:42 It’s basically the same, right? I mean, it’s basically the same, we treat our ISV relationships with the same amount of respect. So no, and I’ll call a couple of them out, right. I mean, we’re, we’re super close with Toshiba. You know, the old I POS, right? And we’ve worked with them for a number of years, there’s a lot of loyalty a lot of back and forth between our businesses. And if I’m working on if I know that Toshiba is pursuing x chain of grocery stores or restaurants or whatever, and HP reaches out to me for the same deal, I’m like, not interested. Not even gonna touch it. Because Because we we do track that, I guess we do track it informally, right? I mean, if I’m just not going to allow for that kind of conflict. So it’s the same thing. You know, and in in the other side of that, too, is is I don’t demand exclusivity with my partners. I’m not afraid of competition, right. I don’t go well, if you’re going to use VIGILIX, and you’re going to sell VIGILIX and incorporate VIGILIX,  with within your platform, then you can’t do Solarwinds to come on, man. If I’m good in either. I’m good enough to compete in the marketplace, or I’m not. Right. Yeah. So we don’t put stringent requirements on our partners, but we do respect when they bring a deal to our door.

Harry Brelsford  6:18 Yeah. Yeah. Finally, distribution distributors. How do you interact? Are these distributors I know, in my SMB MSP space really

Colin Martin  6:27 have to talk about the distis theory to

Harry Brelsford  6:30 act now.

Colin Martin  6:32 I’m kidding. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. If there’s any distis listening, I’m kidding. Of course. No, I’m not. You know, it’s the same thing. You know, in the POS space, whether we’re dealing with we do have relationships on different levels with Synex and Ingram Micro and Scan Source and BlueStar. And

Harry Brelsford  6:54 Blue Star. My good friends over there. Duane Roebuck? Yep.

Colin Martin  6:56 Yep. Well, we love all of them in hate all of them equally. I mean, you know, it’s just there. I’m kidding. I’m kidding. No, I’m not. But

Harry Brelsford  7:09 the marriage, hey, it, take work, man. I mean, that’s the best way to put it.

Colin Martin  7:15 It does. It does. And, and, you know, knock on wood, we have not, we’ve not crossed, we’ve been careful enough not to cross lines with any of them. And, and I think as long as we endeavor to respect that, it comes down to the deal. It’s not whether it’s an ISV or disty, or, or a VAR, it comes down to the deal. You respect the deal. And you respect the partners within the confines of the deal. And that’s where it begins and ends for us.

Harry Brelsford  7:48 Yeah, no, I like it. And it’s, it’s a welcome attitude in a young technology space. And the reason I say that, is, you know, I’m kind of like an old man that tells stories of my childhood drives my two boys nuts. That’s what I’ll do do but back in the day, early small business server and all that we all helped each other, and then the space infrastructure got very mature. And then the profitability while the margins, you know, it just got mature, it got tight, and they got mature, and we’re not as helpful. And so you’re a breath of fresh air and a young segment where we still help each other. So continued success. Don’t ever change, man.

Colin Martin  8:33 Yeah, totally.I mean, I, I have a very egalitarian perspective of all that. And I’ll tell you one thing we do a lot. And we did it last week, we had a we’ve got a partner on the west coast, that some of our other we found out they were it was something unrelated, they were searching for a new accounting system, they were having trouble synching their accounting system to their PSA. And in dealing with all the API’s, they wanted VIGILIX to be in the middle of that in some way. And they just they were like, We don’t know what to do. We’ve only got this budget, and it’s just not fitting anything that we find. We just said, Whoa, okay, I tell you what, we happen to have one of our partners in Atlanta that has figured this out, that we’re pretty close to you want to talk to them? Well, yeah. They were like, Oh, yeah. Yeah, you want to make? Yeah, would you do that? I’m like, yeah, of course I do that, you know, so that that’s a real joy for us to be to be a good connector, you know, yeah. And to help our community out in that way, because they isolate themselves sometimes. And they don’t, they don’t know that a completely non competitive var, or partner on the other side of the country has been through exactly what they’ve been through. And they could learn from each other. And that that’s part of the joy of, you know, like the cannabis community and committee within theRSPA. I mean, I feel like that’s starting to that’s starting to gel to happen.

Harry Brelsford  10:03 Yeah, it is. And you hit on sort of the topic of the day I I’m on a small committee, a trade group called the IAMCP. So International Association of microbes very familiar with it. Yeah. Okay. So I’m on this little committee, partner, a partner committee and we’re trying to drive more engagement partner to partner you know, the Dynamics CRM person works with the teams person for totally. And so that’s kind of the mega trends right now in these ecosystems to try and get us all working together. And well, I’ll tell you what, my friend next month I want to do a double click down into your actual product because our community comes from the the geek side, the nerd side first and they are kicking and screaming into this my

Colin Martin  10:51 favorite feeler side.

Harry Brelsford  10:54 So we got to throw him a bone. Okay, call him we got to throw.

Colin Martin  10:58 Yeah, right on, right on. All right. Okay. Thank you. Good to talk to you. All right. Bye.


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