Channel partner programs, Content

Zendesk Building Global Systems Integrator Relationships

Zendesk continues to push deeper into help desk, customer relationship management (CRM) and overall omnichannel software markets. And partners -- including global systems integrators -- will increasingly assist the journey, according to Zendesk executives.

Jeff Porter
Jeff Porter
Ricardo Moreno
Elena Gomez

Among the company's key moves:

Overall, 2019 is really a building year for Zendesk's partner program, CFO Elana Gomez told Wall Street analysts during an earning call last week. She noted:

"Ricardo has been on board for less than a year. But it’s encouraging some of the things that he seen and he’s doing. I think we’re going to have to deepen our relationships with global systems integrators. And we’ve signed a strategic agreement with a big GSI which is great. So that’s encouraging. Now what’s also encouraging is the receptivity that we’re seeing in the market around Zendesk as well as many initiating the conversation with us. And so I think more to come on that but I view that as a more significant impact in 2020."

Zendesk: Global Strategy, Product Diversity

Zendesk VP Marc Cabi

Zendesk employs the same go-to-market motions in all regions. But EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) is one of our early players in developing regional partners, Marc Cabi says. "They’re building a good community of both partners for resell as well as global systems integrator partners in that area," he adds. "I think that can create some opportunity as we move through 2019 as well."

Zendesk also has a professional services team for larger enterprise accounts. But it won't represent a large  percentage of company revenues any time soon, Cabi said. The company recently hired a new leader for that professional services team, he indicated, and new training programs are allowing customers to have very successful at launch.

Zendesk has also diversified its product stream. The company last year acquired FutureSimple Inc. and Base, a salesforce automation software platform for small businesses. The move further blurs the line between IT service management (ITSM) and sales team automation tools in the SMB market — a major trend involving multiple vendors and customer verticals.

Zendesk Financial Results, Competition

No doubt, Zendesk is growing rapidly. The company's revenues hit $172.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 41 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017. The company had a $33.25 million net loss in Q4 2018, larger than the $24.98 million net loss in Q4 2017. The figures generally beat Wall Street's expectations.

Zekdesk expects to generate fiscal year 2019 revenue of $795 million to $805 million -- significantly higher than Wall Street's earlier $779.3 million revenue target.

Still, the company faces intense competition on multiple fronts -- from giants like ServiceNow, Freshdesk, Zoho Desk, TeamSupport, Atlassian's JIRA Service Desk, and various PSA (professional services automation) ticketing systems in the MSP (managed services provider) market.

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.