SaaS: A recession survival strategy for the channel
Johannesburg, No one is immune to the economic downturn, but, if the channel plays its cards right, this challenge could become its greatest opportunity.
The market is ready for new solutions. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a good option for companies looking for predictable costs and a good solid customized offering for their business. The channel can offer these services and in return receive annuity monthly income.
“The channel has a chance to save its clients from unnecessary short term capital expenditure, increase productivity and bring down costs in the long term by introducing SaaS solutions as a suitable alternative to on-premise solutions while simultaneously securing annuity income for themselves,” says Richard Mowbray, Channel and Alliances manager at Mimecast South Africa, a SaaS email management services provider.
SaaS is changing the way software is purchased, implemented and used. Neither the channel nor the client need additional skills because SaaS solutions are fully supported and run by the SaaS provider on behalf of the client and partner.
SaaS offerings don’t require capital investment in the form of hardware or software. It provides the client with an accessible, customizable and predictable service while offering guaranteed monthly annuity income with protected margins to the channel.
There are two major categories of SaaS. Firstly, there’s the ‘customer-orientated service, which is offered to the general public free of charge. An example of this type of SaaS would be free email accounts such as Google’s Gmail. The typical revenue stream of this kind of SaaS is advertising.
The second category is the ‘line-of-business’ service, which is a business solution offered to companies and enterprises on a subscription basis to ease their business process. This category, which includes offers from Mimecast, Salesforce.com and Netsuite, secures annuity income for the channel. Mimecast provides software application services as well as physical network, computing and storage infrastructure required to deliver comprehensive unified email management.
Mimecast has recently introduced the remarkable Top100 Channel program for Microsoft Channel Partners.
As a bonus, and a way to help ensure understanding of Mimecast’s technology, all Top100 channel partners will receive the Mimecast UEM service for up to 100 users free of charge. Mimecast Unified Email Management (UEM) is ECT Act compliant and provides anti-spam, anti-virus, long-term free unlimited storage, instant email continuity of service and corporate ID management to all customers.
Other than getting Mimecast UEM at no cost and accessing a protected, monthly annuity revenue stream, other reasons to become a partner of Mimecast services include:
• Income protection: ‘renewal poaching’ is deterred by imposing an overriding discount reduction for any non-incumbent partner
• No upfront investment: No upfront investment is required, which ensures immediate entry to a lucrative business opportunity with no cash flow implications
• Dividend program: If for some reason a client comes to Mimecast directly, the company will put the portion that would have gone to a channel partner in a dividend trust. This money is then shared with the top ten performing channel partners each quarter
• Short Sales Cycles: Sales can take as little as a single meeting with implementation being completed in mere hours
“Mimecast believes in finding remarkable ways to support our channel. The strength of our partnerships represents the strength of our position in the market so there is an almost permanent focus on improving our delivery to our channel partners,” says Mowbray.
“Offering SaaS solutions is a recession proof strategy for the channel and the market is ready for these kinds of services,” he concludes.
Mimecast delivers cloud-based email management for Microsoft Exchange, including archiving, continuity and security. By unifying disparate and fragmented email environments into one holistic solution that is always available from the cloud, Mimecast minimizes risk and reduces cost and complexity, while providing total end-to-end control of email. Founded in the United Kingdom in 2003, Mimecast serves approximately 4,000 customers worldwide and has offices in Europe, North America, Africa and the Channel Islands.
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