Channel partner programs, CSPs

Intermedia: New Owner, Expanded Cloud Portfolio for Office 365 Partners

Mike Gold
Mike Gold

Intermedia's sale to a new private equity owner, announced last fall, is expected to be completed sometime early this year. Moreover, Intermedia's channel program now offers roughly 30 different solutions, many of which allow partners to monetize the cloud while pushing far beyond basic Microsoft Office 365 resale opportunities.

Those factoids and more surfaced during a ChannelE2E interview with Intermedia CEO Mike Gold in late December 2016.

When Gold arrived at Intermedia in May 2011, the company was best-known as a Hosted Exchange provider. But Intermedia couldn't rest on its laurels, especially since Microsoft was building out the Office 365 business. Instead of competing head-on against Microsoft, Intermedia began acquiring and/or building its own cloud services. The result is more than 30 cloud services that span  security; identity and access management (IAM); hosted PBX; backup; collaboration and more.

Moreover, Intermedia is one of the few companies that now resells Office 365 to channel partners on a two-tier basis in the U.S. Plus, partners can own the end-customer relationship, Gold says.

Intermedia Cloud Services, Partner Momentum

The company's overall momentum sounds impressive. Intermedia now generates about $200 million in annual revenues, though ChannelE2E doesn't know the company's actual growth rate or profit figures. The company has about 80,000 customers, 730 employees and 6,000 channel partners.

"We've shifted from mostly direct to a mostly partner approach," Gold says. Indeed, two-thirds of the company's revenues now come from partners. The ecosystem is mostly VARs and MSPs -- along with some telcos, hosting companies and next-generation cloud companies, he adds.

In addition to promoting Intermedia's own portfolio, the company is seeking to empower Office 365 partners that are seeking additional revenues. "Our approach is to enable partners with an Office 365 resale opportunity that allows them to add more value beyond their own support," Gold says. "Office 365 is a great product but it's not the end-all. It can be enhanced, and we've developed enhancements." Indeed, Intermedia's 30 or so cloud solutions all run on a single management platform for partners. Many of those services have integrations with Office 365.

In some ways, that means the company competes with Ingram Micro, AppRiver and other Office 365 value-added cloud distributors. Still, Office 365 is only a small piece of Intermedia's business.

New Year, New Owner

Next up, Intermedia's company sale to Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm, is expected to be finalized early this year. The deal, announced in September, was subject to certain regulatory approvals because of Intermedia's voice services. But during our December discussion, Gold sounded confident the regulatory approvals would arrive soon.

Eric Martorano

As for the rest of 2017, Intermedia will continue to expand its partner engagements, while doubling down on services like cloud PBX, backup, security, and file sync and sharing, all of which are "growing at fast rates" he says.

Among those leading the channel charge: Microsoft veteran Eric Martorano, who joined Intermedia in September 2015 around the time the company sale was announced. We'll be watching.

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.