The 6 Most-Asked Questions About WatServ’s Partnership Program

The 6 Most-Asked Questions About WatServ’s Partnership Program

By Jeff Ng, Director, Partnerships
February 25, 2020

2019 was an exciting year for WatServ, made even more so thanks to our incredible partners.

In fact, we have numerous partners to thank for helping us acquire new clients, including but not limited to:

We deeply value your support and appreciate you choosing us as your partner.

Last year, we were also able to attend several industry events to connect with potential partners and spread the word about cloud technologies and digital transformation. We enjoyed meeting new people and seeing familiar faces at Directions North America in Las Vegas, the IWLA Tech and Ops Conference in Columbus, the User Group Summit in Orlando and many more.

Throughout the year, we had several potential partners reach out to us with questions about our Partnership Program. As a result, we’ve put together this list of FAQs.

If your organization is interested in partnering with us, we hope the following information will provide you with valuable insight.

Six Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About WatServ’s Partnership Program

1. Who is WatServ’s Partnership Program Ideal for?

Our partners generally fall within one of two groups:

  1. Microsoft Dynamics partners seeking industry-leading hosted platforms for ERP and financial applications in either Azure or Hybrid-Cloud
  2. IT consultants helping clients with digital transformations. When cloud migration from on-premise or co-location facilities are part of the digital transformation, WatServ is positioned to deliver.

Partners choose us so they can remain focused on their core capabilities, while trusting us to deliver cloud-infrastructure and advanced managed service solutions. Working with WatServ means partners can leverage our deep experience with cloud migrations and be confident in our technical knowledge given the cloud’s rapid pace of change.

2. What models of engagement does WatServ offer?

We offer two engagement models:

  1. Direct Model – Under this model, we have a direct relationship with the end customer. The partner introduces WatServ to the end customer and we develop contracts, obligations and SLAs. After collecting payments, we remit a revenue-sharing amount back to the referring partner.
  2. White Label Model – Under this model, WatServ has no direct relationship with the end customer and instead acts as a sub-supplier for the partner. WatServ develops contractual obligations, including SLAs, and we bill and collect payments from the partner for the services we provide. Often, partners will “pass through” our benefits to the end customer. Additionally, the partner has flexibility over pricing and may choose to include a mark-up on WatServ’s services. WatServ provides partners with a discount on services, which is equivalent to the revenue-sharing amounts under the Direct model.

When evaluating alternative models, consider the following questions:

  • How would you like the end customer to view the WatServ-partner relationship? Under the white label model, some of our partners still choose to disclose to the end customer their sub-supplier relationship with us. In this case, they prefer the white label model to reduce billing complexity for the end customer.
  • Under the white label model, are you comfortable and able to assume payment obligations for the end customer?
  • How important is it to you to have access to the cloud environment without approval from the end customer (usually a consideration in terms of speed of access)? If it’s important, the white label model may be more appropriate, since you are contractually our customer.

Although the two aforementioned engagement models are the most common, WatServ is open to discussing other needs and requirements.

3. Who owns the relationship with the end customer?

This will depend on the engagement model chosen.

Under the white label model, where WatServ has no direct relationship with the end customer, the partner will own the relationship with the end customer.

On the other hand, under the direct model arrangement, WatServ will own the relationship with the end customer, but only as it relates to the services we provide.

 

4. How does revenue sharing work between WatServ and the partner?

In exchange for partner-referred deals, WatServ will share specified revenues or margins with partners for the following services:
  1. One-time advisory, consulting and professional services;
  2. Private cloud hosting, inclusive of consumption and managed services;
  3. Public cloud managed services;
  4. Software licenses, on-premises type and application-related; and
  5. Value-added services provided by third-party firms.
For more details on specific percentage splits for revenue sharing, please contact us. Please note that WatServ shares private cloud consumption revenue with partners. However, public cloud consumption revenue is excluded from revenue sharing. WatServ also offers special bonuses to reward partners for referring larger-sized opportunities and to celebrate the first five deals closed upon joining the WatServ Partnership Program.

5. How are responsibilities and accountabilities split between the partner and WatServ?

The division of responsibilities and accountabilities are, at a high-level, shown in the following diagram:

 
 
 
 
 
 

WatServ designs, manages and maintains cloud infrastructure that the application(s) runs on, which is inclusive of networking through to runtime. Partners are responsible for the application and data layers.

6. Can you describe a typical opportunity lifecycle when working with WatServ?

At WatServ, we begin working with partners as early as possible in the opportunity lifecycle. This helps ensure accuracy and timeliness of work. The diagram below illustrates a typical opportunity lifecycle:

 
 
  1. Requirements Gathering – Upon learning of an opportunity, the partner shares cloud infrastructure requirements and specifications with WatServ. To facilitate the process, WatServ often provides a requirements questionnaire.
  2. Cloud Planning – After cloud requirements are finalized, WatServ custom-designs the cloud architecture to meet the required specifications. At this stage, WatServ produces indicative pricing, which can be presented to the end customer by either the partner or WatServ.
  3. Proposal Delivery and Acceptance by End Customer – In receipt of WatServ’s cloud solution, and often following additional conversations to resolve any questions, the end customer proceeds with the solution.
  4. Cloud Deploy – Coordinating with the partner, WatServ implements the cloud solution and helps the partner drive the project to go live.
  5. Cloud Maintain – Once the project has gone live and is in the post-implementation phase, WatServ transitions into maintenance mode, where we monitor, manage and continuously optimize the end customer’s cloud environment.

There you have it. Six of the most-asked questions about WatServ’s Partnership Program.

 

Want to learn more? Please reach out to info@watserv.com and member of our team will be in touch.

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.

How to Minimize the Threat of a Ransomware Attack with Help from a Cloud Solution Provider

How to Minimize the Threat of a Ransomware Attack with Help from a Cloud Solution Provider

By Jeff Ng, Director, Partnerships
February 18, 2020

Ransomware. Hopefully, you haven’t experienced the predicament of being held hostage by it.

What is Ransomware?

First, let’s quickly define what ransomware is. CISA states:

“Ransomware is a type of malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid.”

Jason Gumpert, of MSDynamicsWorld.com and a friend of WatServ, recently brought to my attention an unfortunate story published on Rental Management Magazine: Dealing with a security nightmare.

In short, this article explains how the owners of Triangle Equipment, a Bobcat distributor dealer in North and South Carolina, were hacked. The hackers encrypted the company’s data and demanded them to deliver $2,500 in bitcoins in exchange for the key to decrypt the data.

Not a fun day.

When Jason brought this story to my attention, he also asked how a cloud solution provider (like us at WatServ) can protect their hosted clients from ransomware and incidents like this. Let’s take a look.

How a Cloud Solution Provider Can Help Protect Your Business from Ransomware


First, we need to accept that completely preventing cybersecurity threats is unrealistic. If we’ve learned anything from the constant stream of cybersecurity breaches, it’s that threats are inevitable. The best thing to do is reduce the chance of threats and have a response plan in place for when a threat does present itself.

For instance, at WatServ, we have a collection of services that work to safeguard our clients’ cloud environments.

Our standard services (included with WatServ’s CloudOps managed service) offer:

 

1. Foundational security pillars – based on CISA’s defense in depth concept

This approach begins with protection at the client connection. Additional layers of defense occur at the network, infrastructure, application and database levels. Each one of these layers is protected by access controls and segregation. Some examples of protective mechanisms at the layers are advanced malware protection, firewalls, multi-factor authentication, multi-tiered network segregation, password vault and access controls and reviews.

Layers of Defense

 
 
 
Layers of Defense for Cyber Security
 
 
 

2. Managed detection and response (MDR) services on hosted environments

WatServ uses Alert Logic’s MDR services to proactively monitor the security of our cloud environments across public, private or hybrid. In the event that a threat is detected, or indicators of a compromise are present, WatServ can cut off the external threat midway. In the case of the Triangle Equipment ransomware attack, WatServ could have stopped the encryption of their data midway, saving part of it.

 

3. Backups on Azure or Google

In the unfortunate instance of a threat, the customer can restore their environment to a point prior to the threat. WatServ performs backups of our customers’ data for 30 days or longer. Restoring from backup is relatively painless, when compared to building a new environment from scratch.

At WatServ, we also offer optional add-on services (incident response and security awareness training) listed below.

 

4. Incident response

In addition to MDR, WatServ offers an Incident Response service in the event of a threat. In the Triangle Equipment situation, the story alludes to the owners having to scramble to find cybersecurity experts to help them manage the situation. To avoid this, WatServ clients can purchase our Incident Response service on retainer so that these services are secured and ready for immediate deployment upon threat detection. Clients get peace of mind that they have security specialists ready-to-go.

 

5. Security awareness training

As per Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, phishing – a form of social engineering – is the number one cause of data breaches. Security Awareness Training is an ongoing training program that teaches a company’s users to detect phishing emails and other types of social engineering threats. The security of a business’ computing environment (and data) must start with each individual user. By participating in Security Awareness Training, clients will see their employees become smarter to detecting social engineering instances. For example, some companies can expect to see an improvement from +60% click rates on phishing emails to sub-20% click rates over a 12-month period.

As painful as the journey was for Triangle Equipment, their story ended relatively well. Triangle paid the $2,500 ransom and, after 3 weeks, recovered their business operations. (Compare this to a recent story on two cities in Florida having to pay $1 million dollars to ransomware. Ouch!)

At WatServ, we help protect our clients from cybersecurity threats, like ransomware, by leveraging our advanced CloudOps tools and internal expertise to detect and remediate security issues.

 

Worried About Ransomware? Fight Back Today.

If you’re worried about ransomware, or would like to learn more about our services, contact us today at info@watserv.com or 1-866-531-2598.

 

Special thanks to Triangle Equipment for sharing their story!

WatServ demonstrates best-in-class capability and market leadership through proven technology and customer commitment.​

About

WatServ is an IT solutions provider that helps clients digitally transform their business through cloud technologies and  services. Founded in 2006, WatServ specializes in providing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions and hosting complex, high-availability environments for enterprise-level applications. WatServ’s unique approach to planning, migrating and managing multi-cloud environments, plus premium 24x7x365 support, enables its global customers to focus on their core business. Relying on Microsoft and Google’s public clouds, in addition to its own private cloud, the company offers an ideal managed cloud environment engineered for security, reliability and performance. With offices in Canada and the United States, and with more than 10,000 users connecting from 30+ countries, WatServ is always on. For more information, please visit www.watserv.com.

WatServ is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners (BBU), a public company with majority ownership by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange. More information about BBU is available at www.brookfield.com.