Ixia Australia and New Zealand Country Manager, Ardy Sharifnia, is on a mission to boost the vendor's business in the local market by engaging partners in a consulting play push.
Sharifnia came on board to head up the local operations of the testing, visibility, and security solutions vendor in December last year, after serving more than two years at rival business, VSS Monitoring – a NetScout business.
In his new role, Sharifnia is bringing a new focus on consultancy to the company’s trans-Tasman footprint, and much of it revolves around the company’s relationship with local partners.
“My strategy is to develop our channel partners substantially more, for a couple of reasons,” Sharifnia told ARN.
“One is to be able to keep up with the requirements, in particular within our tests, and secondly for our consultancy.
“The consultancy is definitely a weakness for us. We simply don’t have the capacity, from a technical post-sales technical point of view, to be able to do implementation of tests. So, my approach is very much to find organisations to be willing to do that for us."
One of the first items on Sharifnia’s to-do list for the company in the local market is to make Ixia’s consultancy offering more prominent among partners and end clients.
For this, he plans to pump additional resources into training and incentives for partners in A/NZ.
“[We will] probably need to develop our channels to be able to deliver more of a consultancy service for us,” Sharifnia said. “That happens by us allocating some time and resources.
“We have a plan to continue working with the resellers,” he said. “We will give you opportunities initially, and our hope is that you reciprocate.
“We have a plan around bringing local resources for training like this for these new resellers. We’ve also discussed sponsoring the resellers, in terms of sending them to Singapore, and possibly the US to get trained,” he said.
The move to boost the US-based company’s consultancy standing in the local market through existing and new partners comes almost a year after Ixia launched its Xceed program, aimed at propelling sales for the company’s technology partners and channel partners.
The partner program introduced preferred access to select Ixia products, solution strategy and design workshops, solution integration and support, and best practice training for system engineers and deployment teams.
The channel community has been a vital part of Ixia’s operations for years. The company, which is headquartered in California, announced on 22 February, the institution of a 100 per cent channel sales model for its worldwide network.
“Ixia fully recognises that our global partner ecosystem plays a vital role in delivering the innovation, expertise, and excellence enterprise customers are seeking today,” Ixia President and CEO, Bethany Mayer, said at the time.
“Relying 100 per cent on channel partners to provide world-class service to enterprise customers reaffirms our confidence in every organisation participating in our Channel Xcelerate Partner Program," she said.
Ixia’s business in A/NZ has been essentially 100 per cent channel-driven since about 2014, according to Sharifnia, following the company’s acquisition of application and network visibility solution provider, Net Optics, which operated as a direct business.
For Sharifnia, the move to boost Ixia’s consulting prowess locally comes, in part, as a way to help drive repeat, high value business in the local landscape – a useful trick in a market that sees very little uptake in permanent testing, except for government departments and very large enterprises.
“We definitely rely on our channel partners,” Sharifnia said. “From the reseller’s point of view, it makes a lot of sense, because there are usually very good margins in consultancy – so it’s good for the reseller, and it’s good for us.”
The new partner push comes as the company prepares for its US$1.6 billion acquisition by fellow US-based test and measurement provider, Keysight Technologies.
The deal, announced at the end of January, sees
“We are confident that Keysight is the ideal partner to accelerate our growth initiatives and will continue to build upon our successful 20-year history,” said Mayer at the time.
It remains to be seen whether the acquisition will affect the company's local channel partner activities.
However, Mayer said that together, Ixia and Keysight have a "tremendous opportunity" to further strengthen their market positions and create "unprecedented value" for our customers, partners, employees and shareholders.