The company was a high-tech start-up and provider of virtualized network services. It managed the dynamic and seamless insertion of network centric Layer 3-7 WAN service functions ranging from network monitoring, management & security services as well as local infrastructure services. It worked off an open-stack virtualization platform, the core network technology for installation at large customers. The solution offered virtual Customer Managed Equipment (CPE) as a managed service at a fraction of competing legacy technologies, and at multiple levels of scalability. The company was financed by a mix of venture capital and private equity. It was in urgent need to ramp up revenue in light of the next round of investment.
- Restructured go-to-market sales from a direct-sales model to channel partnerships.
- Expanded its core offering from managed service to a full suite of services, sold to, installed and managed by partner companies.
- Established 25 strategic alliances in two years, including telecoms, value-added resellers, and service integrators.
Expanded the firm’s geographic span to include Europe, Asia, and North America.
- Drove revenue growth 6X in two years
- As a direct result, the company opened offices in London and Singapore.
- Also, the company succeeded in securing the next round of private equity investment.
Determined the most attractive market segments based on location, size, growth, level of vendor concentration, and the attractiveness of the customer base, including
- Small and medium businesses
- Mid-market enterprises
Identified three market channels to reach these segments, including
- Large value-added resellers
- Systems integrators
Prepared a preliminary long list of candidate channel partners, and screened them based on
- Profile of the customer base (% SMBs and mid-market enterprises)
- Level of relationship with target customers
- Their value proposition
- selling wide-area networking technology equipment
- reselling managed services related to unified threat management or other security solutions, virtual private networks and / or customer facing network monitoring services
- familiarity with virtual private networks, and network security
- Market performance
- Financial performance
- scale of operations
- geographical scope
- cloud based solutions and service delivery models
Performed a second screening of candidates by gauging level of interest by initial contact.
Conducted exploratory face-to-face discussions with qualified prospects to cover the following topics:
- Verification of company data
- Presentation of concept and technology
- Typical commercial value proposition (general structure of proposed partnership models)
- Revenue potential
- Number of target profile customers in place
- Frequency of demand for unified threat management security solutions and network performance monitoring and management services
- Follow-up meeting based on
- Technical proof of concept
- Review of commercial contracts
Held several rounds of discussion to exchange information
- Joint business case
- Existing customer base
- Market potential
- Value proposition
- Work plan
- Commercial structure of the partnership
Negotiated terms of the formal partnership agreement
- Revenue sharing
- Cost sharing
- Direct investment in expanding the network infrastructure
- Risk sharing