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Collaboration First: Insentra brings a partner-only approach to solving pervasive business problems

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Seeing the gaps in the market

When Ronnie Altit began work as a General Manager for a large Integrator in Australia, he found himself confronted with two constant problems. He frequently needed pre-sales consultation support to provide technical insight into the solutions he was selling, yet consultants often were unavailable when needed and, once an engagement was won, delivery resources were often already engaged in other projects. As a result, many engagements fizzled due to scheduling issues and resource availability.

When a lack of resources presented issues, Ronnie only had a few paths to resolution. He could reach out to a vendor for resources, but in doing so he would give up a large percentage of his margin and run the risk of losing the client to the third-party vendor. He could use contractors, but would then run the risk of insufficient expertise.

The solution was to commit entirely to a culture of partnership, uncompromisingly creating a business model to align to the vision – a 100% partner only company whose success would stem from a collaboration of transparency and integrity.

- Ronnie Altit, CEO, Insentra

The third option was to hire new people – something that wasn’t plausible given an inconsistent pipeline. The last option – one that became the default more often than it should – would be to simply lose the business to someone with resources.

Seeing an opportunity, Altit used his connections to confirm if the problems extended beyond his firm.

As he anticipated, other organizations were consistently running into resources issues.

Taking a leap of faith, Altit and two of his peers, Steve Boi and Itzik Gur, founded Insentra with a single goal in mind – to enable channel partners through pre-sales and consulting engagements while supporting long-term cloud engagements with managed services and support on the back-end.

A collaboration-first model

Altit and his team had seen the problems facing businesses firsthand, and he knew that he needed a unique business model to fill the gap in the market.

“It was important when we were getting started to look at the problem, look at the solutions we had at the time, and come up with another option – something new and different.” – Ronnie Altit, CEO, Insentra.

The solution was to commit entirely to a culture of partnership, uncompromisingly creating a business model to align to the vision – a 100 percent partner-only company whose success would stem from collaboration, transparency and integrity.

Insentra’s new business model would transact exclusively on the partner’s paper, Insentra would never do business directly with the partner’s client and would walk away from deals where the client would not work with a partner.

Insentra does not sell licenses independently – they only provide expert consultative and support services to clients engaged with one of their channel partners. The result? Success without compromising integrity, and a firsthand account of how a rising tide can lift all boats.

“We offer our channel partners access to exceptional pre-sales at zero cost, with our agreement being that we will then deliver services and support for the end user client through the partner. We have found many of our partners actually make more margin on their engagements using us than they do delivering themselves.” – Ronnie Altit, CEO, Insentra.

Insentra’s model is unique and has enabled them to build a reputation as a trusted and reliable partner with highly skilled technical resources and an above-the-line approach to partnership that overcomes partner’s traditional hesitations towards partner-to-partner work. Insentra’s approach to partnership fosters complete transparency with their partners, avoiding gray areas regarding who owns the client relationship.

The value of the Microsoft Partner Network

Insentra has been a member of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) since 2011, a year after their founding. Microsoft’s commitment to partnering and partner to partner (P2P) engagements aligns naturally with the work that Insentra does, enabling a philosophical partnership that underlies what has become a successful and profitable relationship for both companies.

“Throughout our partnership with Microsoft they have always been fantastic to work with. Every person we work with at Microsoft comes to us with the same five words – ‘how can I help you?’” – Ronnie Altit, CEO, Insentra.

Insentra is not a traditional partner for Microsoft in many ways as they do not transact any licenses themselves. Despite this, Insentra worked to achieve gold status as a Microsoft partner and, through the work they perform with their channel partners, have come to influence over 750,000 seats of Office 365 consumption alone, providing support and services. Altit and his team are quick to point out the value their gold status affords them when working with new partners.

“We see a lot of value from MPN and from our gold status when working with partners. Being a gold partner is a testament to our expertise when working with new partners and being a part of the Microsoft partner community is valuable when looking for new partners to join our channel.” – Ronnie Altit

Better Together

Insentra’s business model offers insight into how to effectively work and collaborate on P2P engagements. When asked about the single biggest hurdle for other partners regarding collaborative strategy, the answer was clear – trust. Effective partnering requires a shift in mindset and, above all, requires the partners engaged to enter the deal as collaborators, not competitors.

Do what you say you are going to do and don’t budge on your commitments

- Ronnie Altit, CEO, Insentra

Insentra’s business model is designed with partnering as its foundation and is structured to assuage partner fears when engaging. Insentra never transacts directly with end user clients, rather they transact exclusively through their channel, assisting in engagements throughout the sales cycle and providing services when the engagement begins.

By committing wholeheartedly to their approach, they imbue a collaborative mindset into their engagements. When asked how other partners could learn from their approach to P2P, Altit offered similar advice.

“Do what you say are going to do and don’t budge on your commitments. Meticulously structure engagements to eliminate any possibility for gray area in regards to which part of an engagement belongs to whom. If you have a direct model that can compete with your partners, have very clear rules of engagement and live by them religiously so you don’t take your partners by surprise.”

Insentra’s approach has proven incredibly successful and is gaining traction outside of their local market. By working exclusively through the channel, Insentra eliminates the overhead of staffing their own sales force, economically enabling a strictly-services business. Now, having just begun their US strategy four short weeks ago, Insentra is already ramping up 12 major partners.

Insentra’s approach to partnership offers a roadmap to other partners looking to expand the scope of their business through P2P engagements. Operating with integrity and a commitment to collaboration and cooperation, Insentra’s success proves the voracity of their company’s tagline, that the partner community is truly better when we work together.

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