YOU’D BE HARD PRESSED to find an MSP unfamiliar with RMM solutions these days. Most of them have been using such systems to manage widely dispersed endpoints efficiently and cost-effectively for years.
Many corporate IT departments, by contrast, are only just learning that there’s software they can use to support all the work-from-home devices they unexpectedly found themselves responsible for early last year when COVID-19 struck. “”It used to be that many companies could get by band-aiding or putting together multiple point solutions to help manage those assets,”” observes Vinh Pham (pictured), director of channel sales at RMM vendor NinjaRMM. “”Right now, in our dispersed workforce, efficiency has become more crucial.””
Not surprisingly, all those RMM newbies have a lot of questions, too many for Ninja’s sales team to field on its own. So last summer, a company that has historically sold RMM software to the channel decided to start selling it through the channel to end users as well by launching a reseller partner program. According to Pham, who joined Ninja in July to lead that initiative, the program seeks to keep barriers to entry as low as possible for MSPs turned VARs.
“”We wanted to create something that was just very simple for them to transact through and engage with,”” he says, noting that one of his first moves after stepping into his current role was eliminating minimum entry requirements. “”If you find value in partnering with Ninja, we want to partner with you,”” Pham explains.
Newcomers to the program, who start at the entry-level Red Belt tier, get access to a recently revamped partner portal stocked with self-guided sales, marketing, and technical training materials. “”Our partner managers will immediately engage with you after you sign up for our program as well to do a bit more hands-on training and coordinate marketing activities,”” says Pham, noting that while most MSPs have been running RMM software for years, few have any experience pitching it to customers.
Members can also apply for market development funds and spend them either on their own or in collaboration with Ninja. “”We will go out and co-market with them, whether that be through joint webinars, newsletters, email campaigns, and even going to live shows,”” Pham says.
Discounted licensing enables partners to collect anywhere from 10% to 30% margins on the software they sell, with the highest profits going to Black Belt-level members who have cleared a minimum revenue threshold. A deal registration system built into the portal enables partners to protect that revenue, as does a new internal compensation scheme that rewards Ninja’s salespeople for bringing partners in on deals.
Selling seats isn’t the only way program members can make money either. First-time buyers of RMM products often need help optimizing and operating them. “”Many of these resellers can build off of that,”” Pham observes, “”whether that be moving into a co-managed solution or providing custom scripting for their customers and professional services.””
The total package is one MSPs seem to like. “”We’ve seen double-digit growth in active partnerships,”” says Pham. That trend is presumably at least partially responsible for the 300 new customers Ninja is adding every month and the 75% year-over-year revenue growth it reported in September.
Credit NinjaRMM’s software for some of that success as well. Like its VAR partner program, the system is engineered for simplicity. “”The time for Ninja to get fully deployed in an environment and the time that it takes you to realize the full scope of the efficiency that we bring to IT teams is hours, if not just a few days, versus what used to traditionally be overly complex weeks and months,”” Pham says.
The platform is expanding too. A documentation feature rolled out in July, and a ticketing module arrived last month. The only question these days is who’s likelier to celebrate such updates, the MSPs who use the system or the end users now buying it.