With new tech in hand, Workshare looks to partner up

With new tech in hand, Workshare looks to partner up

Collaboration provider calls for 'hungry' New Zealand resellers

Collaboration software provider Workshare is on the lookout for resellers, following a year of acquisitions and the subsequent integration of technologies.

The company, which has been doing business directly with end users in New Zealand since 2000, acquired a Yammer-like social media platform, IdeaPlane, and SkyDox, a cloud-based file sharing and synching tool, both in 2012.

All of that means Workshare has rolled out a new SaaS collaboration solution, which it expects will appeal to customers beyond Workshare’s roots in servicing law firms. The platform allows users to view and add comments on files in real time, suiting geographically dispersed customers, or businesses with multiple departments.

“There are are only so many legal customers we can provide the solution to,” says Ryan Reyes, Workshare’s ANZ country manager.

Reyes, who is based in Sydney with a technical manager, looks after the ANZ markets. He says Workshare’s products had grown to appeal to “any vertical that is heavily regulated and where information is sensitive, and the cost of leakage is high.”

Workshare now has customers ranging from financial firms to pharmaceuticals and mining companies. Reyes says the company has more than 60 customers in New Zealand already, but thinks the new product will have a broader appeal.

“That’s why we want a reseller channel that understands those other verticals,” Reyes says.

Workshare has sold through resellers in the past, Reyes says. But it has been largely selling direct of late. Last year’s merger with SkyDox brought the company’s global workforce to 160, prompting Workshare to re-open the channel.

“The only way for us to scale is to grow a partner network,” Reyes says.

The company is looking for two or three resellers that understand how to sell SaaS. Reyes says one reseller he spoke with specialises in process engineering, and is looking at incorporating a file taxonomy service and architecture around its Workshare product.

“We’re looking for resellers that know how to sell licences and how to get consulting revenue out of what they put on top,” Reyes says. “We’re not looking for the big resellers, they can be small or already selling complementary products like online CRM, payroll or accounting. So, the firms we want are hungry for growth and ready to leverage the collaboration strategy market which is quickly growing.”

Reyes says licensing costs are in line with SMB budgets, with fees starting at US$160 per user per year. The platform is hosted on Amazon Web Services, and offers 24/7 technical support from a call centre in the UK.

Reyes describes Workshare as a Dropbox-like experience, but with the advantage of security and auditing running in the background, and with document comparison capabilities, such as the PowerPoint comparison feature.

Workshare also recently announced that its SaaS product is now integrated with Active Directory and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to give users secure single sign on. The addition was meant to address the ongoing rise of devices in the workplace.

The company is developing a private/public cloud hybrid model to appeal to customers needing more control over their data. Workshare has no plans to add a distributor to the mix at this time.

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