Tenzing Managed IT Services has launched its first channel program, formalizing relations with partners and putting the company on the master MSP path. The company’s Tenzing Partner Program lets integrators, VARs, and other partners offer its managed hosting services. Tenzing, based in Canada, operates data centers in Toronto, Vancouver, and Kelowna, B.C. The centers support SaaS and e-commerce applications.

Raj Atwal, vice president of engineering and partner development for Tenzing, said  the company has historically worked with partners, but had no formal framework for doing so. He said Tenzing aims to derive 20 percent of its revenue through the partner channel this fiscal year.

The company seeks to do business with a range of partners including ATG e-commerce systems integrators, SharePoint specialists, and Web application development companies. Atwal said the channel program doesn’t focus on any particular vertical markets, but he noted an increase in partner opportunities in segments such as healthcare.

The Tenzing program has two tiers.

  1. Referral partners, the company noted, refer ad-hoc projects or leads to Tenzing.
  2. Premier partners, meanwhile, build go-to-market strategies with Tenzing, based on shared key performance indicators. Atwal said the idea is set specific goals with partners, such as conducting to a certain number of demand generation campaigns or committing to a particular revenue target.

Toronto-based imason, an integrator focusing mainly on SharePoint, taps Tenzing for its customers’ SharePoint hosting needs. Jeff Dunmall, president of imason, said those needs have been growing of late for a couple of reasons.

First, SharePoint 2010 lets customers pursue more externally facing scenarios than previous versions, in which capabilities for external workloads weren’t fully fleshed out, Dunmall explained. He noted that organizations that have invested in SharePoint may look to extend that outlay when deploying an externally facing Web site. This external push has sparked interest in hosting services.

Second, cloud computing has caused customers to think more about hosting alternatives, Dunmall added.

Atwal acknowledges that Tenzing, as it continues to cultivate a partner channel, is becoming, in essence, a master MSP. Future plans for the channel program include creating a partner marketplace in which partners can team with each other to create new MSP offerings, he said.

Tenzing’s partner program may well boost the company’s exposure among partners and networks of partners. As for the latter, the aggregation of services seems a natural consequence of cloud computing. Tenzing, itself, has direct experience in that regard, through its integration of Alert Logic’s intrusion detection service.

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