Australian Platform-as-a-Service provider, BlinkMobile, recently won a number of innovation awards for its Blink Mobility Platform. ARN caught up with BlinkMobile director, Darren Besgrove, to talk about the company’s positioning in the marketplace and its innovative approach to enabling mobility.
What’s your partner strategy?
Darren Besgrove: At the moment, we have a compact and limited channel, and realistically in Australia we would have approximately four partners that we have been working with for a reasonable period of time such as the last 12 to 18 months. We’ve just taken on an additional couple of partners as we got the partner support model right with those earlier ones. Typically the partners have come from some kind of pre-existing experience in the mobile space, typically from a hardware side of things, where the have been selling lots and lots of devices, or getting lots of leads from organisations that say, “I want a hundred iPhones” or “I want 27 iPads” or whatever it may be, which allows some of our partners to then to say, “What do you intend to do with them?” and “What have you thought about mobile enablement and security?” In all fairness, a lot of these end user clients probably haven’t thought through and have just looked at what they might be able to run on these things, how they can load forms up, or how they would put information in front of a mobile customer.
How are you looking to expand your channel network?
DB: We’ve been working with a small handful of people that do have a commitment to the mobile space, and that’s been working quite well for us and we’re now looking to sort of expand that out further. I don’t think we’re looking for hundreds of resellers, as we don’t really think that there’s even hundreds of people out there well-skilled to do what we’re doing. Certainly a channel of more than three or four is a necessity.”
What benefits does BlinkMobile offer to resellers?
DB: We have a commission structure in relation to our service and the mobility platform that we provided as a service, so from a reseller’s perspective the first important thing is that there is an annuity stream, which is not something that typically comes with a bit of software. Secondly, we put all of our resellers through some fairly extensive training that typically takes a week. That training is not charged for. We would typically charge for travel and expenses but the actual training itself isn’t something we’re trying to charge resellers for.
How important is skilling of partners for BlinkMobile?
DB: We really think that this new and emerging area of mobility, so we need to get the skills and knowledge up in the reseller community. Then we do a stack of shows and events, speaking engagements and really trying to funnel all those leads and deal flow back through those partners. We custom brand for them all of our collateral, so within all of our brochures that we would produce, there is a version that is customised for our resellers, so they can comfortably print and distribute those. These are the sorts of things we have been investing in the last 12 months, and we’ve really built out that middle office type of support network for reseller partners.
BlinkMobile has won several awards recently for innovation. What enabled you to win these awards?
DB: Essentially, what has allowed us to do that is the fact we’ve taken a very different approach to enterprise mobility, and up until now, the way most people have thought of mobility and/or delivering mobile services have been via custom apps, and apps that lend themselves to the leading platforms out there. And typically those apps have been driven by digital agencies, or people with creative skills, so it’s been much more of an extension of the digital media service, whereas our business is founded in people that have got extensive experience in the IT sector. The approach we’re taking with mobility is that mobility from an enterprise perspective needs to be part of their core infrastructure.