Equinix has committed to giving its channel business a 30 per cent slice of group sales by 2021, after claiming that a company-wide investment in filling channel-facing roles is yielding positive results.
Equinix's global channel boss Greg Adgate told CRN sister publication Channelnomics Europe that the firm has bulked up its channel teams in its four biggest EMEA markets: the UK, the Netherlands, France, and Germany.
The company's management sees the channel as "a growth accelerator" for the business, he claims, with its channel now growing at a faster rate than direct sales.
"Last quarter was a significant growth quarter for us - over 40 per cent growth year on year. It usually tracks at around 20 to 30 per cent," he said.
Currently, the channel makes up around 20 per cent of Equinix's business, but Adgate has set a 2021 target of growing that to 30 per cent.
Despite a 20-year legacy, the firm has been active in the channel for only three years.
Channel veteran Oren Yeduhai, who joined the business eight months ago to run its EMEA channel, said the firm chose to expand its regional channel headcount because the rest of the business' sales staff do not understand the mind set and needs of local partners.
"What we've seen is that as soon as we deploy a channel resource, we start to see big deals coming through. The main reason is: the rest of our sales organisation is used to thinking in an end-user way," he said.
"In countries where we don't have a channel person, we may be working with certain partners but our approach to them is not the same kind that you have when you manage them locally as a partner."
This year, Equinix has deployed channel people in Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Poland and Dubai.
"We have our partner launch in Spain at the end of October, after having a channel person in the country for six months. After not long at all, the list of partners she's already engaging with are the top integrators, cloud niche providers and MSPs in the country," he said.
Yeduhai claimed that in the last year, Equinix's EMEA channel business has grown from six to 67 partner activations.
"Three years ago, the focus was on filling the ranks. But the company has been adapting as we interact more with partners," he said.
"The analogy I use is that Equinix is a three-year-old toddler in a 20-year-old's body….We've skinned our knees but we're on our feet and growing faster than expected across EMEA.
"The way we're going to achieve that is by helping partners to handle one of the challenges that the channel is having: buyers shifting to consumption-based models.
"If not cloud-first, they're thinking eventually cloud in some form, so they're evaluating old technology consumption models and making a shift. So the fact that their cloud lives within Equinix - their edge and the networks - means it's a perfect place to establish services that land and extend from a private cage into public cloud.
"We're both together in the market solving three of the key issues IDC identified as challenges: legacy systems, shared competencies and changing culture, such as moving away from being traditional resellers."
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