Channel partners, Channel markets, Channel partner programs

Lansweeper Pilots Channel-First MSSP/MSP Program

Credit: Adobe Stock Images

Lansweeper is piloting a channel-first program in seven countries in the Middle East where the IT asset and discovery provider is operating a 100% indirect sales model.

Christina Klein, Lansweeper’s vice president of global channel partners, who has helmed its channel program for about five years, is charged with influencing an internal cultural change that ultimately will lead to one umbrella sales organization, she told MSSP Alert in an exclusive interview.

“The indirect only pilot is exactly that — in a handful of countries in the Middle East: Turkey, Greece, Israel and [certain members] of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council),” Klein said. “We are piloting the impact of selling through the channel exclusively. That includes selling to MSSPs and MSPs. We have a couple of trusted distributors and a handful of resellers in the region that we send all leads to and support with sales and technical enablement, co-selling and co-marketing.”

Klein said that the “entire book of business in [those countries] all transact through our partner ecosystem.”

However, don’t expect Lansweeper to bring the pilot model to the U.S. anytime soon, she said. The company’s direct sales framework has been rooted in its go-to-market strategy since its inception in 2004. While Lansweeper has relationships in the U.S. with value-added resellers (VARs) and a few distributors its primary sales model in the U.S. remains sell-to not sell-through.

Still, in the U.S. the number of MSSPs and MSPs with which the company engages directly is increasing from a base of roughly 600 to as many as 30 more month-over-month on a global basis, Klein said. Sales through its indirect channels have grown as well.

“For the last four months, we've grown more than 27% month-over-month with MSPs with MSP business exclusively, accelerating faster than we expected,” she said.

Klein called Lansweeper’s indirect sales model an evolving process: “Everything had been designed and optimized for a direct sales motion."

Indeed, developing an MSSP and MSP channel partner ecosystem and adding traditional partners is seen by the company’s top brass as a key priority.

Fresh Channel Strategy Directs MSSP, MSP Program

“Can you still build out the partner program and help drive scale and reach? It’s the channel that has the ability to do it in the most efficient way,” she said. “It's a lot of internal cultural change, system process, policy change as well as externally trying to build brand awareness and gain traction with the traditional channel.”

In some ways, Lansweeper is constructing a custom model for mixing channel sales with direct sales, tailoring its embryonic MSSP and MSP program to its current capabilities and market sensibilities.

“The reality was four years ago we weren’t ready to deliver what MSSPs and MSPs actually need to leverage our product in their delivery frameworks,” Klein said. "The way we deliver our product has changed to accommodate MSSP and MSPs working in a one-to-many process."

Last year, Lansweeper added a licensing model and began the product development work to create additional capabilities that make leveraging its offering easier for the MSP audience, including an overlay feature to enable service providers to get a complete view of all their customers in a single dashboard.

“They can see every single installation that's happening with those installations, create custom reports unique to their service offering and apply those as a template right across all of those environments,” Klein said. "They have a single place to go to get a kind of a health check against their entire book of business that's using Lansweeper. They can also drill into individual customer environments through a multi-site management portal to take action and see specifically what's going on with an individual customer that did not exist before.”

Klein explained that Lansweeper's overall MSSP and MSP channel partner strategy is to grow that business differently than its traditional VAR engagements. With its VAR relationships the company is one “big step” removed from the end customer, but working with MSPs brings it “a lot closer to that experience,” she said.

Working directly with MSSPs and MSPs will enable Lansweeper to evolve its product roadmap and its service offerings, according to Klein.

“I think a lot more focus will remain on the MSSPs and MSPs especially because of the kind of reaction this segment of the partnering world has given us," she said.

D. Howard Kass

D. Howard Kass is a contributing editor to MSSP Alert. He brings a career in journalism and market research to the role. He has served as CRN News Editor, Dataquest Channel Analyst, and West Coast Senior Contributing Editor at Channelnomics. As the CEO of The Viewpoint Group, he led groundbreaking market research.