HOSTSEARCH: Scott, thanks for meeting us like this. Why don't we start by you telling us a little about yourself and your role in Verio?
SCOTT CALVERT: I have been with Verio now for just over 6 months. Prior to that I worked with numerous channel and direct sales programs that fell under several different guises in terms of B2B, B2C, traditional and pure-play online. I currently run both the direct and channel sales organizations here at Verio.
HOSTSEARCH: For those of our visitors who haven't seen our July 2008 interview with Verio's Wendy St. Clair Pearson and Ken Giffin, why don't you give us a brief overview of the history of your company?
SCOTT CALVERT: Verio provides web-based services to small and medium sized businesses worldwide. Verio distributes its web hosting, application hosting and software as a service (SaaS) offerings primarily to the SMB market as well as through a global network of viaVerio channel partners that include large global telecommunications companies, web developers, ISVs, and MSPs. Verio is a subsidiary of NTT Communications, one of the largest companies in the world with a global IP network spanning six continents and customers and partners in more than 200 countries.
HOSTSEARCH: Verio is renowned for its viaVerio reseller program. Why don't you give us some insight into how this program works?
SCOTT CALVERT: Verio really is a pioneer in this area having developed the first hosting partner program over a decade ago. Today we have 2400 active partners who range from VARs to web developers and everything in between. Last fall, we took a hard look at the program and decided to re-launch it with new product infrastructure, new pricing, new support tools, and really new vigor. It is now going to be the primary focus of our B2B strategy going forward and we are putting 90% of our effort toward developing new channel partners and providing them with tools to succeed.
HOSTSEARCH: What are the benefits for viaVerio partners?
We've implemented an impressive lineup of channel tools, business and technical training resources and a new partner portal at www.viaverio.com
where partners can connect with one another. We've also launched a number of incentive programs to help partners grow their business such as discounts for migrating customer bases, a dedicated account management team, and best of all we've dedicated our sales teams to helping identify opportunities and close deals alongside partners.
HOSTSEARCH: What kinds of partnerships are available to your resellers?
SCOTT CALVERT: Verio has three types of partnerships: at the most simple level is an affiliate program (the via1) that pays a 15% commission for any referred business. The next level is the via3 Channel Partner program, primarily for web developers, ISVs and MSPs. And lastly is our private label wholesale model geared mostly toward larger telecommunications companies. We currently have over 2400 active channel partners, and do business with 11 of the top telecommunications and cable companies around the world.
HOSTSEARCH: Who makes the best type of partner? Is there a typical partner profile?
SCOTT CALVERT: I'll answer that in consideration of the via3 channel partner model which is made up of web developers, ISVs and MSPs. These are companies who offer outsourced IT services or software development of some sort that allow them to layer on additional value to their end customers with Verio's hosting models. We offer them a chance to increase that revenue base with a new recurring revenue stream.
HOSTSEARCH: There always seems to be a bit of a dichotomy as far as companies and their resellers are concerned. Yes, of course it's a Win-Win if a reseller is successful, you are successful. However, if a reseller is too successful, you could help create something that might cannibalize your whole organization. How do you guard against this possibility?
SCOTT CALVERT: We would not see that as a competitive threat at all. In fact, our model includes actually helping drive our partners success directly. Our entire sales team is shifting to support the channel and we will be actively pushing leads we get even through our retail channel to be closed directly by select channel partners. We'll select these partners based on geography, business focus and business models. We truly see our channel partners success as an extension of our own.
HOSTSEARCH: I understand that some reseller programs offer resellers a vast range of tools to help resellers become successful right down to free web hosting website templates. How does the viaVerio program help your resellers to be successful?
SCOTT CALVERT: For us, web site templates are just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, we offer them but there is so much more to what we do. Probably the most innovative aspect of our channel partner program is the viaVerio Sales team or VST team sales model that actually assigns partners to a team who are focused on helping them find and close deals on a regular basis. We will be doing calling on their behalf, actively promoting certain partners based on company fit and geographic location and more. This is unlike any other program you've seen in hosting and we are very proud of how it is evolving. I won't bore you with the other details a complete list of tools is online at www.viaverio.com.
HOSTSEARCH: How can people find out more about the viaVerio program?
SCOTT CALVERT: Online at www.viaverio.com or by calling us at 888-224-9346.
HOSTSEARCH: And of course, the viaVerio program has its own conference for resellers. You are building up towards that right now I expect. How are preparations going?
SCOTT CALVERT: We are ready it's actually coming up March 15 - 17. We have adjusted our speaker lineup to fit the hottest topics of the new economy such as buying and selling customer bases, how to add value to SMBs in this trying time, financial advisors and more.
HOSTSEARCH: Where exactly will this year's event take place?
HOSTSEARCH: How many people are you expecting at the event?
SCOTT CALVERT: We are expecting up to 100 current and prospective partners.
HOSTSEARCH: Who is going to be present at this year's conference?
SCOTT CALVERT: We have a variety of folks including: Liam Eagle, Editor in Chief of The Whir; Heather Lutze, author and CEO of Lutze Consulting on the topic of Organic SEO; a number of peer panels where current partner will share their experience and some tricks for success; and lastly we have our CEO Kiyoshi Maeda, and select other internal people who will share their knowledge about specific opportunities and trends we are seeing in the market.
HOSTSEARCH: If people are interested in attending, what should they do?
SCOTT CALVERT: Visit www.viaverio.com and click on the left site banner to visit the partner site directly or call us as time is of the essence! You can talk to us at 888-224-9346.
HOSTSEARCH: Well, continued good luck with the reseller program, and of course, best of luck with the conference.
SCOTT CALVERT: Thanks.