Nile is in “advanced talks” with its first UK partners, its global channel boss said as he promised early recruits high margins and an “opportunity to change the story” in the networking space.
The networking-as-a-service start-up recently bagged another $175m in funding, having emerged from stealth mode last September.
It was founded by former Cisco CEO John Chambers and former Cisco chief development officer Pankaj Patel (pictured top) in 2018.
‘Opportunity to change the story’
Talking to IT Channel Oxygen, Vivek Khemani, Vice President of Worldwide Channels at Nile (pictured below), said the vendor is weeks if not days from signing its first UK reseller partners.
Prospective allies have “an opportunity to change the story” by bringing customers “a true Opex solution”, Khemani claimed.
“Some of the larger partners in the UK have given us to understand that, when they are talking to customers, especially in an RFP [request for proposal] scenario, they are being asked: ‘what is your Opex option’?
“Working with some of the traditional vendors, their options are quite limited. That differentiated story is resonating really well.”
Partners find Nile’s flat, single-tier programme “refreshing” because it offers them “easy entry”, Khemani claimed.
“We have done several points of analysis to show that the partner margin is much higher [than traditional vendors], and the partner rep comp is much higher.” Khemani added.
“The share of the wallet that partners get in a Nile deal relative to a traditional deal is also higher, and they’re building an annuity business which drives them more towards a service-oriented business.
“If you combine all of those things, it’s a really good story which is resonating well with partners.”
Although Nile operates a single-tier model in its native US, the strength of the two-tier model in Europe means distributors “will play a key role” in its strategy on this side of the Atlantic, Khemani indicated.
Having launched its Nile Connect partner programme 11 months ago, Nile claims to have collaborated with over 100 channel and service provider partners.
Khemani said it is also in talks with large SIs and service providers with a UK presence. Nile is a “lucrative” option for those offering it as part of a managed service, he claimed.
“It comes right out of the box, pre-configured, and connected with WiFi, with sensors, and with the cloud,” he said.
“All of that is pre-bundled, right out of the box and we have security built in, so the MSPs don’t have to worry about any of that. Yes, they have to do some integration with their OSS/BSS systems, but we provide support there, and from an SLA standpoint we have our own SLA that we can provide to the MSP so they don’t have to carry that liability on their books.
“Then it is an as-a-service solution, so there’s no financial outlay. If you combine all of that, it’s a very lucrative offer from an MSP perspective.”
Nile has identified three ideal customer profiles that are primed for early adoption of network-as-a-service technology, namely the higher education and technology verticals, and corporate enterprises with 500 to 10,000 users in a single location.
The needs of Nile’s global customers may determine how soon Nile launches a UK office, Khemani confided.
“We have a lot of customer conversations that have a global footprint and offices in the UK. These customers will give us an entry into the UK and help create the need for local resources,” he said.
“Based on some of the funding and some of the go-to-market roadmap discussions, we absolutely have plans to set up offices, hire resources and expand the UK market.”