Exinda slams rivals' weedy margins as it courts VARs

WAN optimization vendor looks to tempt resellers for new Platinum tier with top-of-the-range kit and 30 per cent retained margins

Exinda Networks has blasted its rivals’ lack of innovation and channel-unfriendly sales behaviour as it seeks to recruit VARs for its newly introduced top-tier Platinum partner scheme.

The WAN optimization player currently has about 20 UK Gold partners and wants to maintain a pool of roughly this many, while adding an elite team of eight to 10 Platinum partners, drawing these from both the existing partner pool and new recruits.

Gold partners must transact $150,000 in Exinda business each year, as well as buying two bits of Fast Box demo equipment annually and retaining an accredited engineer.

For Platinum partners, the revenue commitment rises to $400,000, while engineering and demo equipment commitments double from Gold levels. A document outlining the program specs explains that top-tier partners will benefit from “a substantial increase in margins, sales, marketing, technical assistance and joint business planning”.

Adam Davison, who joined Exinda as EMEA vice president of sales in July, told ChannelWeb that the vendor’s partners could expect to retain margins of 30-35 per cent on hardware sales. He also criticized the lack of margin inherent in other vendors’ channels.

“We are hearing that Riverbed’s direct sales team is going in, doing deals and then going back to the reseller and saying, ‘We have done the deal with that customer you gave us – you’re going to make five or 10 points [on it].’ That is really upsetting partners,” he said.

Riverbed was contacted for this article and indicated it did not comment on things said by competitors.

Neil Ledger (pictured), joint chief executive of distributor  VADition, agreed that Exinda’s high-margin offering was a key attraction for the channel.

“Some of the technologies of the larger WAN optimization players have very low margin retention,” he said. “A lot of the control has been taken away from the resellers by some of the other vendors. Exinda wants to embrace the channel.”

Davison claimed that Exinda’s “next-generation” offering is another key differentiator against some of the market’s bigger players.

“[With companies such as] Riverbed, Blue Coat, Expand and Cisco, their WAN optimization solutions are now classed as legacy, while we are considered next generation,” he said. “The market is changing now – we have stuff like SaaS and cloud. It is important for customers to [assess and] prioritize traffic at a really granular level.

“There are products out there that do that, but they are point solutions. Exinda has brought to market a platform that has all the features and solutions needed in one integrated platform.”