Red Hat pilots new leadgen program in Canada targeting the mid-to-high market

Red Hat has announced the launch of a new program to help the company capture the mid-to-high market.

Known as the Independent Sales Representative (ISR) program, it consists of a partnership with Keating Technologies, a sales, marketing and technical support provider that will handle lead gen, and Tech Data, which handle fulfillment and sales execution.

“We needed someone that could reach out beyond our current install base,” Luc Villeneuve, general manager at Red Hat Canada told CDN. He explained that it’s been a challenge for the open-source software company to cover customers in the half-a-billion to a billion dollar-range due to high demand, even though the company doubled the size of its sales force in Canada. Traditionally the company focused on the largest banks, telcos and governments with over $1 billion in revenue.

“This is a new route to market.”

The program works by outsourcing the leadgen component. Keating will handle telemarketing, which will turn into face-to-face meetings and deal registration. Registered deals are then passed onto existing Red Hat partners with a heavy emphasis on incumbents to carry out with the help of Tech Data. Red Hat only steps in if the deal is very large and their assistance is required.

According to Villeneuve, Keating was chosen because of its national presence, because it does not handle any products that compete with Red Hat and its commission-based approach.

As for the solutions that will be sold, while the full Red Hat stack will be available, Villeneuve expects smaller companies to be more nimble, and therefore more interested in newer technologies such as cloud, middleware, and virtualization, and to have faster sales cycles.

He also added that while the program has been piloted for a month prior to today’s unveiling, Canada will be a test market where success – to be evaluated at around the six-month mark – could be replicated in other parts of the world.

“We’ve done a lot of work on this,” Villeneuve said. “We’re hoping to crack the code with smaller customers.”

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Dave Yin
Dave Yin
Digital Staff Writer at Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel.

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