Channel partner programs, Networking

Rise of the Virtual Channel Chief

You've heard of virtual CIOs -- when IT service providers provide strategic guidance to their small and midsize business (SMB) clientele. Now say hello to virtual channel chief services. A prime example: GetChanneled Co-founder Ted Roller is now acting channel chief at Mailprotector -- an email security company that's looking to accelerate its MSP and channel partner engagements.

Roller and Sherman
Roller and Sherman

Roller and GetChanneled Co-founder Brian Sherman are channel veterans from opposite sides of the fence. Roller previously built and ran his own service provider business, and also held key channel chief positions at Intronis (now owned by Barracuda) and LogMeIn, among other career milestones. Sherman is a content expert who has worked closely with CompTIA and other channel players in recent years. He previously ran editorial operations for Business Solutions Magazine.

Mailprotector Channel Strategy

Meanwhile, Mailprotector offers email security services to VARs and MSPs. The company, founded in 2000, has an established channel partner program. The company's former channel chief, Amy Luby, enhanced the program before moving on to run operations for ETS. More recently, Director of Sales Scott Tyson has been driving things forward. But Roller and GetChanneled will work to further optimize the effort on the marketing side while Tyson drives sales.

"We made a decision just last year to focus solely on the channel and entirely on email security because we felt like the channel go to market model was the best fit for our product and our company culture," said Mailprotector CEO David Setzer. “Working with the channel is our future, and doing it better than anyone else is our goal. We think GetChanneled will help us accomplish that goal."

David Setzer, CEO, Mailprotector

The goal here is not so much to evolve the existing terms and conditions of the program, which is actually already very easy to understand and very profitable for the existing partner base, Roller says. Instead, GetChanneled is focused almost exclusively on building the mechanisms and relationships that every 100-percent channel focused company needs to have in place to thrive, he adds.

"Mailprotector is already a great set of products with partner focused portals, pricing, and partner support programs in place,"  Roller asserts. But new efforts will likely include a partner advisory board, a joint marketing effort aimed to support channel partners, and some significant integration and partnership with the channel community.

Roles and Responsibilities

So how will Roller and Tyson work together? Tyson has been historically responsible for both the sales and marketing aspects of the go-to-market effort, and he is now going to be able to focus on the sales side of the business, with the single goal of making engagement better and more effective for the partners. Roller's primary focus will be all the marketing and PR efforts that go into making partner sales successful.

Stay tuned for developments involving a partner advisory board, 2016 events, portal updates and more.

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.