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Postini's exit changed the SaaS security channel model forever

Google’s announcement in August to decommission the Postini service as we know it was big news in the email security space. So much so, our CEO even blogged about it.

Many competitors quickly broadcast Postini-targeted offers to woo its customers, but with Google claiming that most Postini resellers were already selling Google Apps the impact to the channel has been largely overlooked.

No doubt the news was a trigger for many Postini customers to reconsider their email security solution, so how did this period of intense change impact the channel?  Well, the opinion formers in channel that I have talked to cite a common thread – the news has created a renewed drive for a transparent, stable and fair partnership between vendors and their channel partners.

At Mimecast, we’ve always believed in this philosophy, and we’re constantly listening to the partner ecosystem.  So we feel it’s timely to refine our ideas into a code of practice, which we hope starts the debate on general ways of working for the industry as a whole:

  • Customer first: we know that customer retention is good business for us and our partners. We believe we’re responsible for providing the means to ensure this is as high as possible.
  • Ethical ecosystem: partners should respect a customer coming up for renewal from another partner. We propose vendors who poach other partner’s customers should have their margin capped.
  • Reliability and simplicity: we feel that vendors are in the best place to offer customer service and 100% availability, which is why we advocate a low-risk, high-reward arrangement with our partners.
  • Margin and predictable revenue: we believe the margin should remain the same throughout the life-cycle of the customer as it helps partners plan for growth in their business and easier for all parties to understand.
  • New business should be rewarded: in addition to the new revenue, we recognize that genuine new business opportunities take time and resources to secure and should therefore be rewarded in addition to the revenue it represents.

We’re certain that this code of practice will continue to evolve as we actively work to refine it with our partner community. And the first step on this journey is a webcast we’re hosting with UBM Channel this Thursday (8th November) to present this new approach and explore why the partner model is changing quickly and for the better. If you would like to join us, we would love to hear your thoughts! Register for the webcast today!