by Mike Reilly

In building a network like Vartopia, we faced the classic chicken vs. egg problem: how do you get the first people to participate in a new channel management solution? We had to find people who saw that deal registration could deliver greater results if we made it easier for partners to communicate their sales opportunities.

Several years ago, we started asking vendors we knew well to participate. Dell and VMware were the first two to give the thumbs up. They saw the problem and had confidence that we could build the platform. Later, others like HP and Symantec also joined in.

We also ran into a problem early on. As we started to reach out to more vendors, we discovered that many did not really have a real deal registration system. They used web forms to collect registration information, and spreadsheets and emails to manage. Vartopia can’t integrate with a spreadsheet or email. Nor were the vendors very excited about adopting the existing deal registration solutions available in the market.

Pat Robitaille, our CTO and VP of Products, had just finished architecting a very flexible and easy to use deal registration system for VMware. We asked ourselves, what if we could build a better deal registration solution that had the added benefit of being integrated with the Vartopia Network? We asked a few vendors to become our development partners, and Appsense and Wyse stepped forward. Together, we created the first release of Vartopia DRS.

During this time, NetApp approached us with the classic vendor joint-solution problem. They were launching their Flexpod solution, and there was no way for NetApp, Cisco and VMware to track joint-sales activities. Nor was there a way for a solution provider’s channel management team to monitor solution sales activity. We worked with NetApp to pilot Vartopia ARS, our alliance registration system. In July 2011, Cisco who had been a participant in the FlexPod pilot stepped forward to take the ARS vision a step forward. They have been our development partner for the second release of ARS, and it will be a part of the overall Vartopia 4.0 release next month.

Each of the above vendors engaged early and were patient as the Vartopia platform began to take shape and come to life. Together, we have created a game-changing deal registration platform for the IT channel.

So, thank you, Dell, VMware, Symantec, HP, Appsense, Wyse, NetApp and Cisco. Without your early engagement and patience, the Vartopia platform would not be what it is today.

Want to get on the Vartopia platform? Call us. We’re an open platform, and all are welcome.