Verio Program Aims to Help VARs Get New Customers

Web host's "stimulus package" seeks to strengthen ties with resellers through technical, financial assistance.

At a time when many VARs are struggling to survive, those that serve up web hosting and application hosting (in the form of managed services or Software as a Service) to their customers are doing better than average. Still, the down economy has no room for complacency.

Verio, one of the biggest players in the hosting arena, recently launched an attack on possible complacency in its channel with an aggressive stimulus package aimed to drive revenue for both its partners and itself. Verio’s move followed on the heels of a bold play by Fasthosts in February, when it offered a free reseller account for one year (a $600 savings) to any reseller signing up by the end of March.

Fasthosts, an England-based hosting company, dangled the year-free carrot to entice U.S. VARs to switch from existing vendors, said Steve Holford, chief marketing officer, Fasthosts USA, Chesterbrook, Pa.

“The recurring fees and low cost of doing business make reseller hosting a highly profitable market,” he said. "However, many resellers don’t find it easy to do business with U.S. hosting providers because they are restricted to selling off-the-shelf products.”

Fasthosts enables VARs to create their own web hosting brand and retail web solutions at their own price points.

Pre-qualified customer opportunities

Verio’s thrust is to strengthen existing ties between it and its VARs. Its stimulus package provides assistance to partners migrating customers to Verio; pre-qualified new customer opportunities; the viaVerio sales team, which is dedicated to partners; and viaMail, a tool that enables partners to easily develop low-cost direct mail campaigns.

Noting the considerable amount of consolidation taking place among channel partners in the industry, Verio is providing technical and/or financial assistance to current or prospective partners who have acquired new customers as a result of an acquisition and are interested in migrating these customers over to Verio.

As important as that assistance is, it pales in comparison to the pre-qualified customer opportunities, said VARs.

“The key benefit of the stimulus package is that Verio is offering us hot leads,” said Dean Bowen, CEO, Net-Flow Corp., a Verio channel partner in Napa, Calif. “We are a small company with limited resources to do outbound market, so this Verio package is significant for us. It gives us strong leads who are ready to buy while it practically eliminates our acquisition cost of getting customers.”

“Getting qualified leads will definitely help our business,” said Michael Reynolds, CEO, SpinWeb Internet Media, a Verio partner in Indianapolis, Ind.

TAGS: services,SaaS,marketing,Web hosting,Verio

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