Infrastructure management software company Aprisma has launched its Asia-Pacific operations by introducing a channel partner program supporting a range of business models and profiles.
The software arm of networking vendor Cabletron, which was split into four separate companies last year, Aprisma's best-known product offering is its Spectrum software suite. The company launched its Asia-Pacific operations last week, with around 200 customers in the region and around 20 partners, and is looking to the channel to help build on that base.
"We operate 100 per cent through the channel in terms of providing software tools," said general manager and senior vice president Katrinka McCallum.
Aprisma is a pre-IPO company that boasts investors such as Compaq and Silver Lake Partners.
Its Spectrum software is a well-known brand in the enterprise market, but the company is now working on associating the Aprisma name with the software.
Targeting end-user customers such as broadband networks, content hosters, ASPs and what the company terms enterprise service providers (ESPs), Aprisma's partner program integrates a set of initiatives based on resource allocation, revenue commitment and partner business models.
"A lot of our applications fit nicely between customer segments, so our partners can apply the same principles to different customers," McCallum said.
McCallum believes the pervasiveness of the Internet will help drive the market for business-critical software services as 24 x 7 service becomes the norm.
"In order to have that infrastructure, there must be a lot of robustness behind the scenes. It is no longer about banking between 9 and 5. The system has to be almost as resilient as the dial tone for the phone."
"The average user will stay on a Web site for eight seconds, so the importance of responsiveness is paramount," she added.
The partner program will include two types of resellers; solutions and integration. Solution partners will be able to design, sell, service and deliver Aprisma's Spectrum solutions, while integration partners will be involved in design and delivery. The program will also rank partners as Silver, Gold or Platinum, and either authorised or certified.
According to McCallum, the separation from Cabletron has been good for the software vendor. "It has been very positive because it has enabled us to cooperate with vendors that previously were seen as competitors."
She sees the IT slowdown as an opportunity for partners to offer greater visibility into their client's infrastructure, and increased productivity and effectiveness. "Most companies are now stepping back and asking how they can maximise their investment," she said.
This, according to Aprisma director of product marketing Trent Waterhouse, is achieved through the artificial intelligence technology built around the software which dynamically updates the database, automatically learning changes as it goes along. This allows customers to save on the management costs of the system - a key selling point for resellers, said McCallum.
"Software revenue represents 10 to 15 per cent of the overall engagement opportunity, so it has strong value to our partners," she said. "Then there are ongoing services.
"We are not just about signing partners for the sake of it. We want to help develop their businesses and help pull them through," said Aprisma's Asia Pacific president, Alison Higgins-Miller.
Aprisma is chasing VARs, global systems integrators and strategic global alliances, but it will not forget the small companies within Australia.
"Our aim is to have as regional players as the bread and butter of our business and the global partners drive the opportunities overseas."