Aternity Turns to Channel to Crack Enterprise Market

The private company, a provider of end-user experience management solutions for large businesses, shifts its focus from direct sales to a partner-centric approach. It wants to derive 70 percent of its revenue from the channel during the next two years.

Aternity Inc., a provider of end-user experience management solutions, has launched a partner program for independent software vendors (ISVs) and system integrators (SIs) that targets enterprise customers.

Trevor Matz, Aternity’s president and CEO, said the channel partner program is a logical next step for the company. “The way you get partners is first of all you’ve got to sign up huge end users and get market traction and visibility and recognition by analysts,” he said. “We’ve worked very hard to build very high level, very valuable strategic relationships with Oracle, with Dell, of course with Intel, and with some others. And we’ve signed up some very good SIs who have helped us build out this partner program."

The company is now specifically seeking both consulting partners (SIs) and application partners (ISVs), with the aim of deriving 70 percent of its revenue through channel partners within the next two years. The company is private and will not disclose annual revenue. Aternity wants to hand all aspects of professional services over to its SI consulting partners.

 “We’re not looking at all to become a professional services company,” he said. “We’re a software technology company, and we want to build world-class, market-leading solutions and work with partners to deliver the implementation, configuration and support services around our product.”

The company's main product, the Frontline Performance Intelligence (FPI) Platform, is designed to minimize business disruptions and improve end-user productivity. More specifically, it aims to solve the “visibility gap” between IT management’s awareness and end-users’ performance. The company noted that Forrester Research found that 74 percent of end-user problems aren’t detected by IT until those users call the help desk . Aternity’s aim is to bridge that gap. The FPI Platform, formally unveiled at the Demo 2008 conference in January, has been available directly from the company. Target customers are Global 1000 companies in financial services, healthcare, high-tech, retail, transportation, telecom and manufacturing .

Matz added that the FPI Platform also can be a key asset for ISVs. “Imagine application owners that could sell their applications fully instrumented, and know exactly how users are using them, how these apps perform under load, in different configurations, in different geographies, and know the kinds of problems they’re having… and sell a self-monitoring application,” he said.

Working through partners has always been part of the company’s roadmap, Matz said.  “Before I joined Aternity, I was the managing director of one of the business units at InterSystems, which is a $270 million company today. And 80 percent of our revenue there was through partners. So when I came to Aternity, it was very clear to me that a partnership-centric approach is a much more cost-effective way to work.”

Matz added that the company seeks partners of all sizes. “We’re interested in the smaller, boutique partners who are focused on a particular vertical,  boutique shops that are experts in a particular application,” he said. “Any partner who can add value to us and add value to their offering is a great partner. We really want to build a very strong, variegated and broad-based partner channel.”

The only absolute requirement is an enterprise focus. “We’re not an SMB product. We’re not looking to sell at the moment to 200-people organizations,” he says. “So we’re looking for partners who service the enterprise space, whether that’s the Global 2000 or the Fortune 1000.”

All of Aternity’s partners receive sales and marketing training as well as technical certification. “They can go through training and get certified in our technology,” Matz explained. “They actually perform a project in our labs, and they’ve got to pass that to be certified. And you’ve got to have at least two certified engineers on board to be a certified partner.”

The point, Matz noted, is that Aternity isn’t looking for quick-hit resellers. “We’ve invested a lot of effort and energy to make this a partner-friendly organization, from the way the technology is built; from the way that it’s deployed and managed and supported; and from the perspective of how we bring partners on board, how we on-ramp them, train them, certify them and really work shoulder-to-shoulder with them. We’re truly looking for partners who will be a natural extension of the company.”

What really differentiates Aternity approach, Matz added, is the FPI platform's ability to monitor all aspects of the end-user experience, including application performance, desktop performance, and even the performance of the actual user, and then to analyze and correlate that data “in order to derive real-time, right-time business intelligence that transforms organizations into proactive IT enterprises.”

What’s more, it can do that with just about any application and in just about any environment. “Nobody else has the ability to monitor and instrument any application almost out of the box," Matz said. "Our level of ability to instrument is absolutely unique, and it’s one of the reasons that Intel made a huge investment in us."

The company, was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Boston with R&D offices in Israel. It is funded with venture capital money from the Intel Capital Portfolio company and three other investment partners.

TAGS: Oracle,business intelligence,venture capital,Enterprise,system integrators

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