Content, Sales and marketing, MSP

Channel Program: Video-Enabled Channel Partner Community Launches

Kevin Lancaster, CEO, Channel Program
Kevin Lancaster, CEO, Channel Program
Matt Solomon, TK

Kevin Lancaster and Matt Solomon have launched Channel Program, a video-enabled collaborative platform that's designed to allow the "entire channel community to interact in a cost-effective, organized, and democratized way," the duo tells ChannelE2E.

Lancaster is CEO of the new venture. Solomon is chief business development officer. Both executives are veterans of Kaseya and ID Agent. Translation? They have deep expertise and experience engaging and supporting partners. And in terms of audience engagement, Jennifer Mish is director of content & events for the startup.

The Channel Program community is designed to engage both sides of the IT channel marketplace -- from IT solutions providers, MSPs, VARs, IT service providers and IT consultants to vendors and distributors. And yes, the platform is open to additional types of ecosystem members.

Channel Program: Initial Components

Channel Program's first three components involve:

  • Channel Pitch is a live-stream and on-demand video showcase that will feature 8 to 10 new and emerging technology vendors during an inaugural session in December.
  • Channel Cash is an MDF (market development fund) program that is completely vendor independent and extremely simple, the founders assert. Among the perks: $50,000 in cash reimbursements and discounts per quarter.
  • Channel Explorer, a video system that givse the "entire channel the ability to be heard and influence their/our industry."

Also coming soon:

  • Channel Command, which will further unify experts across both sides of the ecosystem.
  • Channel Chatter, which will "revolutionize the way the entire channel communicates."

So, What's At Stake Here?

Take a closer look at the strategy, and perhaps Channel Program is seeking to disrupt multiple IT channel business segments -- everything from Partner Relationship Management (PRM) to YouTube channels to Reddit's MSP subgroup to MSP-centric Facebook and LinkedIn groups and more. And... perhaps Channel Program is seeking to disrupt ad-based media sites like ChannelE2E? Hmmm...

Still, the IT channel is a big, healthy, highly fragmented ecosystem. And I wish the Channel Program team well.

In some ways, Channel Program sounds like version 4.0 of the former ChannelEyes, a Facebook-type social media platform launched in 2011. Bob GodgartJay McBainDave Geoghegan and Shari Godgart initially built ChannelEyes to help vendors interact with channel partners in a more social, more modern way. But the platform didn't gain a critical mass of partner- and vendor-side activity. Reboots and brand extensions extended ChannelEyes into more of a mobile and then channel sales acceleration direction. But ChannelEyes ultimately faded away.

Fast forward to present day. Here comes Channel Program. We'll be watching for milestones and next moves.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.