Workplace from Facebook partner firms get new program

The revamped channel strategy for Workplace by Facebook emphasizes resellers and systems integrators; more IT channel news.

The Workplace from Facebook partner initiative has reemerged with a unified program to resell and build offerings around the collaboration platform.

Rolled out this week, the Workplace One Partner Program spans resellers, global systems integrators and technology partners. Partners have played a role in Workplace sales and adoption since the platform's launch in 2016. The new program renews the strategy, adding support for a "hybrid approach" surfacing among partners, said Ernesto Tey, global director of Workplace ecosystem and partnership. Such hybrid partners combine traditional reselling with developing custom offerings for customers.

Accordingly, the Workplace One Partner Program aims to make it easier for resellers to offer their own intellectual property and for integrators to resell the platform. Solution-building is already a widespread business for integrators, but isn't as common among resellers. All the program's integrator members make money by adding IP, while more than 30% of the resellers now build "some type of solution around Workplace," Tey said.

The program also encourages sales and services partners to work with Workplace from Facebook's technology partners. Resellers, for example, are interested in bundling Workplace with other platforms they resell, such as ServiceNow.

"We are starting to see some very interesting engagements," Tey said.

In some cases, ServiceNow-Workplace bundles are net-new offerings sold to customers. In others, the reseller goes back to a customer to add ServiceNow to an existing Workplace deployment, he noted. Like Workplace, ServiceNow seeks to cultivate a partner ecosystem, which it recently demonstrated with its Quebec release.

In terms of customer adoption, Tey said Workplace sees "significant traction in smaller organizations." Accordingly, Facebook has banded with a set of partners to pursue the small business segment. Those partners include Crayon in the Nordic countries, Azuronaut in the United Kingdom, and Enablo and LineZero in the U.S.

At the other end of the business spectrum, consulting firm Deloitte works with larger organizations and multinational corporations on Workplace projects, Tey said.

About 50% of Workplace transactions today are done with or through partners, Tey said, noting that the percentage is higher in some geographic regions. The Workplace partner ecosystem includes 120 resellers, more than 80 ISV partners, a distribution agreement with Synnex, and formal partnerships with large global integrators.

The next iteration of the Workplace One Partner Program will focus on recruiting MSPs and telecommunication providers, which Tey said have an opportunity to offer Workplace to their customers.

Channel program launches and updates

Here's a look at the latest developments in vendor partner programs.

  • Cyxtera, a data center colocation and interconnection services company based in Miami, rolled out the Cyxtera Global Federal Partner Program. The program is an extension of the company's Global Partner Program, which launched in 2020. A number of colocation vendors are cultivating partner relationships.
  • Immersive Labs, a cybersecurity company based in Boston, signed 50 new partners, developed a tier-free program and launched a new partner portal. The portal lets partners track and register activity and offers training and marketing assets.
  • Netsurion, a managed security service provider (MSSP) based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., relaunched its Netsurion Partner Program, which debuted in 2017. The program, which encompasses Netsurion's authorized MSP and MSSP partners, offers an expanded set of try-before-you-buy options for the company's cybersecurity and network operations services. Other features include additional performance-based financial incentives and an updated partner portal.
  • Master agents working with Zoom Video Communications Inc. will receive increased partner revenue on qualifying deals involving Zoom Phone and Zoom United, a unified meetings, phone and chat offering. Zoom has added six master agents in North American and Europe, while also launching a Global Partner Advisory Council and Partner Perspectives survey to gather partner feedback.
  • Accurics, a cybersecurity vendor based in Pleasanton, Calif., unveiled a channel program. The program's launch partners include DigitalOnUs, Consortium Networks, ImagineX Consulting and CBTS. The program targets resellers, integrators and technology partners, according to Accurics, which specializes in infrastructure-as-code security.

Partner rosters grow

Several vendors this week added partners to their channel programs. 

  • Celona, a private LTE/5G technology company based in Cupertino, Calif., signed up more than a dozen IT solutions providers. The company's partners now include Apex Technology Group; CNI Sales Inc.; GTA, a Kelly Telecom company; Harborlink Network; HarborTech Mobility; ICU Technologies; LEC; Safari Solutions; Solid IT Networks; STEP CG, Sycomp; WIN Connectivity; and Wireless Concepts. The partnering activity could signify increased interest in the 5G market, which had partners in wait-and-see mode in early 2020.
  • Kinaxis Inc., a supply chain planning software provider based in Ottawa, added 10 integrators and referral partners to its channel program. New integrator partners include Aeonvis, De Philmain, HCL Technologies, Nomura Research Institute and Accenture's REPL Group. Referral partners added to the ecosystem include Grange Partnership; Iter Consulting; Kaptura; Plantensive, a Vaco company; and Waku Consulting.
  • LogRhythm, a security operations center technology vendor based in Boulder, Colo., partnered with Mideast Communication Systems, a value-added distributor. The companies will provide security information and event management offerings to organizations in the Middle East and East Africa.
  • Codeless Platforms, a business process automation company based in Poole, U.K., partnered with Phoenix Systems, a Syspro ERP value-added reseller based in Newmarket, Ont. Phoenix Systems has offices in Toronto; Winnipeg, Man.; Calgary, Alta.; Edmonton, Alta.; and Vancouver, B.C., as well as U.S. offices in Portland, Ore., and Boston.

Other news

  • Nearly 90% of business and IT leaders say the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated their digital transformation efforts, according to research commissioned by NTT Ltd., a technology services company. The survey suggests organizations may need help with technology adoption. While about 92% of respondents said emerging technology is crucial for their technology strategies, 41% believe they have the technology they need to meet immediate goals, according to NTT's Global Managed Services Report.
  • Industry association CompTIA unveiled a technology industry group focused on blockchain. The blockchain group offers access to an online forum where participants can share ideas, discover resources and network with peers, CompTIA said. The group will also explore business cases for solution providers.
  • Tech Data, a distributor based in Clearwater, Fla., inked an outsourcing agreement with Fujitsu America Inc. Under the arrangement, Tech Data's Global Lifecycle Management services organization becomes the sole outsource service provider for Fujitsu's Technical Maintenance Services (TMS) business. More than 300 service and support professionals from TMS have joined Tech Data.
  • Sea Street Technologies, an AI autonomous operations platform provider based in Boston, said its updated platform offers MSSPs and communication service providers (CSPs) an opportunity to deliver edge services. Sea Street Technologies said early adopters among its CSP partners have used the product to provide SD-WAN and secure access service edge
  • MSPs can now use Redstor's data management offering to protect customer data in Google Workspace, according to the Reading, U.K., company. The company's app has launched on Google Marketplace.
  • SaaS Alerts, a provider of a SaaS monitoring and alerting platform for MSPs, said it closed a $1.2 million round of funding. The company will use the funding to add product features and fuel sales and marketing initiatives.
  • ON2IT, a managed security services company based in Plano, Texas, appointed John Kindervag as senior vice president of cybersecurity strategy and group fellow. Kindervag was previously field CTO at Palo Alto Networks.
  • Imperva Inc., a cybersecurity vendor based in San Mateo, Calif., named Micheal McCollough as global vice president of strategic growth. McCollough will be responsible for the company's channel business and creating new partnerships. He was previously global vice president of channels and alliances at Akamai.

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