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The Ins & Outs of Channel Partnerships

The Ins & Outs of Channel Partnerships

Did you know GlobalSign works with all channel partner types?

Today, we explore the reasons channel partnerships are important to GlobalSign and the value of these partnerships for everyone involved.

Firstly, what is a channel partner?

A channel partner is a company that sells services and products for a technology manufacturer or vendor. This technology may include hardware, traditional software, Software as a Service (SaaS), or cloud computing solutions.

The channel partner is part of the vendor’s indirect sales force, meaning that they sell the products and services on behalf of the vendor, but they are an independent company. They may also sell products and services produced by other vendors as well as items they develop themselves.

Common channel partnership types include:

Managed Service Providers (MSPs)

Managed Service Providers remotely manage a customer’s IT infrastructure and end-user systems, typically on a proactive basis and under a flexible subscription model and offers ongoing services that reduce the burden on the end user.
Today, the terms "cloud service provider" and "managed service provider" are sometimes used as synonyms when the provider's service is supported by a service level agreement (SLA) and is delivered over the internet.

Value Added Resellers (VARs)

A VAR builds a solution around one or two specific vendors, the solution often consisting of hardware, software and a service component (one-stop shop). VARs resell hardware and software, but most of the revenue stream comes from service & integration and complete solution offering. That enhanced value can take a number of forms. Traditionally, a VAR creates an application for a particular hardware platform and sells the combination as a turnkey solution. In many cases, such bundles target the applications of a specific vertical industry.

System Integrators (SIs)

The role of the System Integrator is to provide customization, deployment, and integration in the enterprise. The SI is a company that implements the chosen service elements, such as individual hardware and software components from many different vendors and integrates them into one customized solution which meets the business needs of its customers. They can have vertical or horizontal specialization.

SI’s can vary in size and service offering. Smaller SI’s (or those with a specialism) may provide the integration services only. Larger SI firms (that build very large, complex, multi-vendor solutions for some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Toyota or Boeing) typically offer SI services alongside Managed Services and Consultancy. Using a systems integrator, a company can align cost effective, preconfigured components and commercial off-the-shelf software to meet key business goals, as opposed to more expensive, customized implementations that may require original programming or manufacturing unique components.

XaaS Technology Vendor

The XaaS channel offers “as-a-service” subscriptions which are sold through, sold with, or sold to a partner to meet a customer’s technology solution business requirements.  Instead of reselling, they deliver integrated solutions.

Technology Partnerships

Technology partnerships exist to help organizations implement and optimize their technical systems. These partnerships typically take place between technology vendors who provide the product and the agencies and companies who use these systems in their daily operations.

Service Provider

A service provider is a vendor that provides IT solutions and/or services to end users and organizations. This broad term includes all IT businesses that provide products and solutions through services that are on-demand, pay per use or a hybrid delivery model.

A service provider's delivery model generally differs from conventional IT product manufacturers or developers. Typically, a service provider does not require purchase of an IT product by a user or organization. Rather, a service provider builds, operates and manages these IT products, which are bundled and delivered as a service/solution. In turn, a customer accesses this type of solution via several different sourcing models, such as a monthly or annual subscription fee.

Examples of service providers include:

  • Hosting service provider
  • Cloud service provider
  • Storage service provider
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) provider

Cloud Service Provider (CSPs)

Cloud Service Providers often don’t resell a product, but they offer some component of cloud computing — typically Internet-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) — by hosting solution in the cloud to improve speed, security and flexibility. Examples include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Services (GCS).

Reseller Partners

A Reseller is a company that resell products on behalf of the vendor. These companies offer and bundle services as part of their services. Think of a reseller as a trusted partner, and an extension of the sales team.  The reseller mainly supplies IT products without any modifications to a specific end-user market. Margin is in volume.

Affiliate/Referral Partners

Referral partners are companies that refer the business. These companies may refer product as it relates to their larger scope of work and projects. For example, common shared focus areas between the company and an affiliate/referral partner could be security, branding, and efficiency. When companies refer products as part of a larger project, they get a referral bonus.


Channel consultants support the creation, and efficiency of sales channels. Individuals in this role often connect retailers, manufacturers, distributors, and vendors to ensure the smooth delivery of a product to its customer. Though channel consultants do not directly sell, they play an integral part in making sure sales channels are running smoothly.

Benefits That Will Drive Business Opportunities

As Channel Marketing Manager at GlobalSign, I’ve been sharing content on the blog – including the popular Six Reasons to Become a GlobalSign Channel Partner – and developing relationships with a best-in-class roster of partners for several years. Often, the first question I hear from potential partners is: "What’s in it for us?” It makes sense, as any good partnership should be mutually beneficial. But let’s take a closer look at what each party in the relationship can expect even before they enter into an agreement.

What’s in it for you (the channel partner)?

  • Provide a Full Suite of Services and Products – Offering services and products from several different vendors enables a channel partner to deliver a diverse solution portfolio which meets the customers' specific business and technology needs.
  • Sell the Latest Technology – Deliver the latest technology services and products to clients.
  • Take Advantage of Additional Expertise and Resources – Channel partners have access to a vendor’s human and financial resources including technical support, product and market training, marketing assistance, campaign templates, and more.
  • Increased Profitability – Higher revenue and/or margin opportunities can be achieved.
  • Benefit of an Established Name – Small MSPs, IT consultants, System Integrators and other similar companies can benefit from an association with the name recognition and reputation of large OEM vendors.

What’s in it for your customers?

  • One-stop shopping – With so many options for technology platforms and services these days, businesses and consumers appreciate whenever they can consolidate vendors. According to ChiefMartec, Netskope’s 2019 Cloud Report shows that the average enterprise is using 1,295 cloud services, so the ability to streamline wherever possible is highly desirable.
  • Localized experience – Although many businesses are turning to distributed and remote work models, it’s still tremendously beneficial for companies to work with providers that are based out of the same general geographic area. This is an advantage when it comes to language, of course, but also in providing a better understanding of the local market and any other geo-specific challenges.
  • Trust – Brand awareness and trust are more important than ever, especially in the digital world. And just like networking and referrals are important to all of us in our personal lives, a partner network can help create a sense of comfort and familiarity with both new and existing customers. Users are more likely to remain loyal to – and utilize additional services from – providers with whom they’re already working.  
  • Bundled service discounts and other perks – Many times there are financial benefits that come with bundling. There may also be incentives for end users when it come to support and customer success. From a budgeting perspective, IT and leadership teams may be keen to work with an MSP simply for the benefits to their bottom-line.  

How does GlobalSign work with channel partners?

Looking back at "what’s in it for you and your customers", as a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) solutions OEM vendor, we offer a one-stop shop to deploy public and privately trusted PKI hierarchies through our cloud services. We provide direct integrations into local and cloud directories, extended customer, and partner databases, as well as enterprise applications and networks. Whether customers are looking to secure a device, service, or user, we help enterprises of all sizes.

We’ve provided managed hosted PKI services to companies the world over for the past 25 years to achieve their IT requirements. We are one of the internet’s original trusted identity bureaus and have issued over 5 million SSL/TLS Certificates worldwide, processed billions of validation requests every month and were the first to build acceleration into these critical services. We are a global company you can trust with local representatives providing that all-important local language support.

What sets our partner program apart is that we can work with all partner types. Our programs can be customized to fit all business models, offering tight alignment with GlobalSign’s business, enabling partners to become a true extension of the company. 

Regardless of what bucket you fall into; our partner programs will enable you to:

  • Consult, integrate, build, provide, and sell GlobalSign solutions
  • Provide certificate lifecycle solutions to your customers
  • Adapt quickly to changes and maintain security
  • Increase your portfolio
  • Expand your customer base
  • Increase profit margin
  • Become an expert in the field

If you want to know more about our programs and/or become a GlobalSign partner to leverage our industry-leading identity and cybersecurity solutions, check out our partner microsite which details the different solutions and programs we have to offer. Not seeing what you’re looking for? Complete this contact form and someone will be in touch soon!

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