Guest Column | July 10, 2019

Building A Channel Program For Cloud-First Software Business Growth

By Katie Horvath, Naveego

Data Governance, Security Concerns Drive Adoption Of Private Cloud Solutions

For cloud-first software businesses, channel programs drive scalability and growth. However, for a cloud-first software business, this option might be neglected in spite of being a great growth driver.

Naveego’s partnership with Mondelio — a predictive data modeling and data analytics service based in Sydney, Australia — is a great alliance to launch Naveego into the APAC market without having to open up new facilities or invest in hiring a work force in that region. By leveraging cloud-first technologies and the partner channel, we are able to enter into a new market in a region of the world previously untapped by Naveego, without having high market entry costs in infrastructure acting as a barrier to entry.

Cloud technology empowers the ability to provide SaaS software solutions to remote customers. Whether it is deploying and installing a data accuracy platform, matching and merging disparate silos of data into a golden record, or performing data cleansing, use of cloud-based technology gives freedom to service customer accounts from virtually anywhere. No longer is an in person on-site install and deployment the norm. Rather, on-premises has moved to hybrid and multi-cloud to better suit modern business needs for enterprises. This allows for building a team of channel partners to boost revenue and sales across regions where a cloud-first software company does not have business operations.

Cloud technology promotes freedom from vendor lock-in. Rather than choosing data management and other digital transformation tools associated with a particular vendor, enterprises now are offered nimble cloud-first tools that are supported in multiple cloud environments, allowing end users to avoid vendor lock-in.

Channel partner sales encourages this vendor and technology agnostic nimbleness, as service integrators and other VARs often work with multiple environments and are equipped to recommend and provide services to compliment software products with solutions designed to best suit a customer’s needs, instead of only those that are part of the portfolio of a particular vendor.

Further, for SaaS companies including startups, subscription license revenue is a measurement of growth. Services do not scale nearly at the rate of a pure SaaS business model. Yet, services are often desired or needed to design customer solutions. This end user counseling function may be performed by channel partner SI firms to promote better user success in adopting cloud-first software as part of a digital transformation initiative. By having this function outsourced to a channel team, the SaaS software company keeps its business model tight for scaling revenue without needing to have a services business line.

Channel partners also may provide industry specific expertise to build out laser focused use cases for their industry. For example, partnering with an oil-and-gas-focused services firm allows a software product to be adapted for industry specific needs such as providing oil well production data metrics because the vertical focused channel partner has developed data management expertise unique to the industry.

Building particular use cases and having industry specific data challenge knowledge to best serve these customer needs is yet another way to leverage channel partners. For software products that are fairly horizontal — meaning they can be used across many industries — channel partners can provide expert knowledge of specific customer challenges in an industry to guide product roadmaps toward providing new features to meet the industry needs.

Of course, an obvious reason to pursue channel partner sales is to extend the reach of an internal sales team by leveraging the VARs existing customer base and relationships built over time for a quicker win with new customers. In enterprise software sales, where the sales cycle can be lengthy, starting with existing customer relationships can quick start the sales cycle.

Further, data management tools such are used by service integration resellers to quickly assess data health of end user customers and better scope their digital transformation and data cleansing projects. Channel partners may prevent unwelcome surprises due to dirty data becoming an obstacle to project success, or causing delays in project timelines, or otherwise running afoul of customer expectations.

In this manner, channel partners may use the software product internally for efficiencies gained, lowering cost of under-estimating the work to be performed for a flat fee project quote, and provide end user customers with more accurate project pricing. In addition to boosting revenue by reselling a winning cloud-first software product, internal adoption by a channel partner for lowering its own costs in producing revenue, is true partner success.

Katie Horvath, NaveegoAbout The Author

Katie Horvath is the CEO of Naveego, a cloud-first API-based data management platform to fix and monitor data accuracy problems. Prior to Naveego, she was legal and compliance officer for Boomerang Catapult, LLC and also has held senior positions with Bayshore Legal Services, P.C., and Microsoft.

About Naveego

Naveego is a provider of cloud-first, distributed data accuracy solutions for seamless, end-to-end data quality, and self-service Master Data Management (MDM). For more information, call +1 231-346-4144, visit or connect with Naveego on LinkedIn and Twitter.