DevOps platform GitLab has rolled out its new global partner program as part of an ongoing investment into its channel strategy.
Kick-starting the channel investment was the appointment of Michelle Hodges as its head of global channels six months ago.
In launching the GitLab Partner Program, the company is aiming to build its network of strategic relationships to help more organisations use GitLab as part of their DevOps transformation.
“We’re making a pretty significant investment in the program, incentives and also people. I’ll be building up a whole channel team across the spectrum of partners, programs, channel and system integration managers as well,” Hodges told ARN.
The program embraces a different partnering approach, offered in three tracks: Open, Select and Technology.
The Open track is concentrated on resellers, integrators and other sales and services partners that will earn benefits and incentives for identifying new customers and opportunities, and delivering services that drive the adoption and use of GitLab. Incentives are offered as product discounts, rebates and referral fees.
The Select track caters to building strategic relationships with partners keen on providing high-value DevOps expertise and services based on GitLab. Most of these partners will develop their own GitLab Practice to deliver professional, consultancy and advisory services, with the expectation of driving greater GitLab product recurring revenues.
The Technology track is aimed at independent software vendors focused on complementary solutions through product integrations with GitLab and building integration capabilities with cloud platforms, Kubernetes and legacy DevOps solutions.
“It’s very much focused on the partner relationship,” Hodges said. “It’s got lots of incentives and investments such as discounts for finding and transacting with new customers, marketing development funds, as well as services discounts, referral fees and rebates.”
Along with the new program is also a new partner portal featuring a full range of sales and solution architecture enablement. There will also be further additions such as technical badges and certifications throughout the year.
“There are many partners out there now with GitLab skills and the trick now is to identify them, bring them into the fold and expose them to our customers and sales force,” she said.
Hodges said it was seeking to build a partner community on strategic relationships therefore creating an environment where every partner can contribute. The DevOps platform recently revealed its intentions to ramp up its Australian focus following year-on-year growth of 116 per cent in annual recurring revenue to US$100 million.
“We look forward to growing the program with our partners and building high value services for customers,” Hodges said. “As businesses evolve their DevOps practices with a maturing lifecycle, we want to create an ecosystem of partners that can work together to create greater value for the customer.”
Hodges said GitLab's average renewal rate is about 177 per cent, and it’s where most of its opportunities and growth has derived from.
“We know that growth comes from spending more time with customers and exposing more value. For us to continue to grow and service our customers, we’re going to need to build an ecosystem of channel and services partners that can help customers unlock that value,” Hodges said.
One partner that is already on-board with GitLab is IntegrationQA, which has offices across Wellington, New Zealand, Brisbane and Canberra in Australia, as well as London UK. Besides being a GitLab partner, it is also a Microsoft Gold, Atlassian, Parasoft and actifio partner.
"The new channel program reinforces IntegrationQA's service-led DevOps methodology and we look forward to strengthening our partnership with GitLab," IntegrationQA managing director Chris Wellington added.
"Together, the IntegrationQA and GitLab teams bring strong experience architecting, hardening and integrating GitLab to meet the rigour and delivery demands of federal, state and local governments as well as large corporate enterprises."
GitLab has more than 100,000 customers globally including Infoxchange, Ticketmaster, Goldman Sachs, and KnowBe4.
In Australia, GitLab counts 48 staff and has made a number of hires across sales, customer success, channel, marketing, pre-sales and solution architects.
In February, channel sales leader Amelia Seow was appointed to cover the Australia and New Zealand market and will help in expanding the partner program.
The expansion process is being led by Asia Pacific regional director Anthony McMahon, who took on the top role in August last year.
“We’ve got a handful of partners that are specialists in the DevSecOps area, but they have slightly different values that they bring and we’re aiming to expand that to gain more industry and geographic coverage,” McMahon told ARN.
“While we have an Open and Select pathway, the Select segment will stay small - we want to make sure we’ve got partners that are willing to build or already have a DevSecOps type platform, and we’re particularly focused on their services and consulting capabilities.”
McMahon said it’s important to have partners that understand customers that want to transform their own DevSecOps environment along with the added expectation of being agile and cloud native.
“The historical way that software is planned, coded, reviewed, security checked, released and managed, is usually done across hundreds of applications or tools, our premise is that you can’t be weighted down with those tool packs anymore, you need the efficiency and innovation that comes in a single app. It’s a very different approach to what many customers have been used to,” he said.