- Tell us a little bit about the Progress business
Progress provides the leading products to develop, deploy and manage high-impact business applications. Our comprehensive product stack is designed to make technology teams more productive and enable organisations to accelerate the creation and delivery of strategic business applications, automate the process by which apps are configured, deployed and scaled, and make critical data and content more accessible and secure—leading to competitive differentiation and business success.
We're dedicated to applying our 40 years of business and technological expertise to make our partners more productive, reduce their risk, stay ahead of the market, and deliver the tools and support needed to deliver on your commitments.
With Progress products, you can:
- Accelerate the creation, delivery, and support of engaging, high-impact business applications
- Automate the processes to configure, deploy and scale those apps on premise or in the cloud
- Make your critical data and content more accessible and secure
And it's that final point I'd like to focus down on for the remainder of the Q&A as the 3 products we take to market in the UKI exclusively through our two tier channel lend themselves specifically to the secure movement, management and accessibility of data and networks.
- How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
For our DataDirect business it's straightforward - Progress provides the largest repository of data drivers and data connectivity solutions on the planet. So, whether you're looking to access data from another application source or cloud to ground and back we've likely a solution for you.
MOVEit provides secure file transfer and automation software for the Enterprise. We help to guarantee the reliability of core business processes and transfer sensitive data between partners, customer, and systems in a secure and compliant way.
Our WhatsUpGold network management suite certainly competes in a busy marketplace, but we believe provides complete visibility to everything that's connected to your network. The unique interactive map lets you see network devices, servers, virtual machines, cloud, and wireless environments in context so you can diagnose issues with pinpoint accuracy.
For all three solutions we are 100% committed to an indirect strategy meaning we're attractive to the world's leading resellers and distributors partner with Progress and make our products available worldwide. Global systems integrators and digital agencies partner with Progress to help deliver greater value to our customers. We also partner with other global technology companies, such as Microsoft and Amazon, to ensure that our products and theirs work well together to serve the needs of our mutual customers.
Our immediate and long-term strategy in the UKI region is to also bring that commitment and capability now to local, niche trusted providers - in particular those serving public sector and FS markets.
- Why is the channel the best route to market for Progress?
Partners are core to the Progress Culture, part of our Corporate DNA. Our partners are an extension of our sales team, and give us the breadth and depth we need to successful grow our data-centric business in the UK&I.
We aim to fit our partners' business model and our award-winning Progress Accelerate partner program is rich with resources purpose-built to help our partners succeed by providing continuing support and enhancements for partners across people, products, and systems
• Marketing tools and programs
• Training and enablement
• Sales and account management
• Incentives and more………….and watch this space for an imminent launch of a long-term channel incentive for both existing and new partners alike we're about to launch in the next few weeks.
- What skills do MSPs need to have to partner with you, and how important are MSPs to your go-to-market strategy?
Progress teams with established Managed Service Providers for whom security and performance excellence are just as important as operational efficiency and transparent pricing. Working with Progress, MSPs will find not just a provider of award-winning software but a partner genuinely seeking to invest in a relationship that supports their own business aims whilst delivering service excellence for their customers. Technology is, of course, at the heart of that aspiration but just as important is an organisation that can see the opportunities for growth through innovation and an ability to leverage the capabilities of that technology and the support and investments that Progress can provide along the way. The most successful MSPs have a clear vision and strategy and a dogged determination to succeed which when working with Progress is an ethos they find is shared.
- How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve in 2021?
We will remain 100% commitment to our indirect strategy for our three data-centric solutions and I see us further evolving in our recruitment drive of niche specialists in the secure managed file transfer sector and the broader network management arena.
We're also keenly focused on growth with MSPs and the SI community and you will see us doubling down on our Cloud ready solution set in 2021 to address this growing market.
Finally, Progress has been highly acquisitive over recent years which is a strategy we will continue with so I think it's maybe a "watch this space" to see what opportunities that might open up for our channel partners in 2021.
- What are the key technology challenges that your customers are facing right now?
Probably the biggest challenge in 2021 is of course going to be dealing with aspects of COVID-19 recovery in relation to business operations. Typically, concerns we see revolve around how best to manage this new remote and increasingly digital workforce, promoting and ensuring digital collaboration whilst, most effectively at the same time, managing compliance requirements and data security and integrity.
- How do you think the market is going to develop in the coming year - particularly in the aftermath of the pandemic?
I think some trends are clear and obvious like the increase required on enabling WFH and we see this becoming the norm of choice for the coming year meaning organisations very clearly need to design then execute on a strategy on how they can enable their employees to manage, access and send critical or sensitive data in a safe and compliant way.
Equally high on the list for CIOs will be remote and highly dispersed network management and ensuring complete visibility to everything connected to the network, and have that view provided in context so his team can diagnose issues with pinpoint accuracy.