Winners of the 2020 IGEL Partner of the Year Awards and Top Takeaways from our North American Partner Advisory Council
2020 was a remarkable year in many ways. But despite 2020’s many new challenges and obstacles, we also saw resilience and innovation. This has led to the great success we’ve seen with our strategic solution partners. In celebration, IGEL recently recognized some of its key partners during our DISRUPT Unite 2021 Cloud Workspaces Experience event. Here we showcased some of our outstanding and highest producing partners.
In North America, these partners included Right! Systems, Inc. (RSI) as our North American Partner of the Year for 2020. We also commended CDW as IGEL’s Large Account Reseller (LAR) Partner of the Year; ThirdOctet as Growth Partner of the Year; and XenTegra, as Innovation Partner of the Year. CPC, IGEL’s first partner in North America, was additionally recognized for closing the “Channel Deal of the Year” with a large healthcare organization.
In EMEA, ACP was our EMEA Partner of the Year for 2020. Also recognized was PCO as IGEL’s EMEA Growth Partner of the Year, Netplans as Innovation Partner of the Year and Bechtle as LAR Partner of the Year.
Congratulations to all on an outstanding 2020!
Q1 PAC Takeaways
We were also absolutely delighted to recently host our inaugural North America Partner Advisory Council (PAC) on February 18th. In attendance were eight partners: Entisys360, XenTegra, Coretek, CPC, ThirdOctet, Intrasystems, Presidio, and Sirius. IGEL attendees included our CEO, CSO, CMO, SVP NA Sales, VP Adv Services, Sr. Director NA Channel Sales, Sr. Director NA Channel Marketing, and Sr. Mgr NA Channel Marketing.
An important tenet of our PAC is that it’s intended to be “forward looking.” In other words, strategic in nature and not a QBR or operationally focused. What a wonderful and engaging four hours we had! In advance, we suggested some pre-work to give us feedback on three key topics – Customer Priorities, Marketplaces, and Services. This allowed us to have a richer discussion. We also interspersed three live polls during the meeting to have short discussions on – who owns the customer, partner or vendor; perception of IGEL; and effective marketing activities.
Needless to say, we learned a lot! Here’s a summary of our learnings that we will use to continue shaping our actions and engagement with our partners and customers going into our upcoming quarters.
Who owns the Customer? Is it the Partner or Vendor? We discovered that the partner is the glue for the customer that brings together many solutions. As such, there needs to be high trust between partner and IGEL to allow the partner to be that glue and point of contact for the customer.
Priorities of Customers. We discovered that while varied they did centralize on the common themes of: Security, Experience and Cost Containment. We also heard how cloud-based workloads are becoming a priority as organizations don’t want to commit to CAPEX to buying infrastructure if they don’t know the size of the organization.
The pervasiveness of the Subscription model is causing customers to rethink their technology roadmaps. And nearly all partners discussed the full double-down customers have on Security. It was mentioned that partners should insist that the CISO is part of IGEL Sales cycles. Marketing efforts should also focus on the CISO needs and be a top priority.
In terms of vertical industries, Healthcare, Government and Financial companies seem to be spending the most on work from anywhere solutions.
Marketplaces. We discussed why it’s important to decide on Who the target audience is. Some sell to existing clients differently and others were seeing net new clients browsing around. Overall, we found a consensus that marketplaces can drive cost-based decisions, rather than value-based decisions. Therefore, being able to highly differentiate offerings in a marketplace becomes the critical path.
Partners were also concerned about influence and recognition. IGEL can help by ensuring account protection as customers might purchase from Marketplace without direct involvement from a partner.
Services. Partners agreed that services are a very important, critical piece and significant to revenue and profitability. Those partners that provide IT-as-a-service (MSP) to mid-market client base found that it is a large market and underserved by vendor. We discussed how certified partners can be a bench for IGEL sold services and that these can be fulfilled by Elite certified partners. Here additional incentives for sales teams will help drive mutual sales.
Hearing from our partners is always a valuable experience. We are looking forward to implementing many of these recommendations in the coming weeks. If you have more discussion suggestions for our next PAC meeting, or would like to be involved, please reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy selling!