By Robert Dutt
Under the program, Keating will work with the vendor to uncover and qualify leads in the $500 million to $1.0 billion market. Once fully developed, those leads will be handed over to existing Red Hat Canada partners to close the deal, and will be fulfilled through Tech Data.
Luc Villeneuve, general manager of Red Hat Canada, said that as much as possible, leads will be handed out to partners that are either incumbent to the customer involved, or preferred by the customer. Where there’s no incumbency or preference, leads will go to partners with the right geographical, technological, and/or vertical focus, as appropriate.
“We’ve been working for 12 months on getting this in place, working with legal, with ethics, on payment and money flow,” Villeneuve said. “We launched a month ago, and we’re already seeing partners engaging with Keating.”
While the volume closed has been small in the first month, Villeneuve points to a healthy pipeline, and an encouraging sign — partners who have been involved with the Keating arrangement are going back to the manufacturer’s rep and outsourced marketing and sales company with their own list of existing customers that they haven’t been able to follow up with as much as they’d like.
“Keating’s not there to close the lead, but they’re there to follow-up. It’s not just generating leads, it’s pre-qualified, so they’ll follow up with the customer, even sometimes meet with the customer, and then hand it over to the VAR to close,” Villeneuve said. “It’s not just telemarketing — they’re doing presentations and they have to be certified in terms of sales. They just don’t close the deal.”