One Startup That specializes in Channel Development for IT Companies

By the year 2010, Clark Richter, the founding father of Fossa LLC , had spent over 15 years in sales management and marketing roles at IT companies like Check Point Software, Citrix Systems and Websense.

He found it frustrating that there have been only a few reliable, comprehensive and updated information sources specializing in the IT channel partner market. Professionals like him needed to rely on multiple tools and data databases coupled with extensive primary research to zero in at the right channel partner.

Traditional databases were out-dated, used out-dated classification systems and profiled companies incorporated years ago with perhaps different business models. The IT industry had transformed significantly over the last 20 years but these databases hadn’t kept up with the changes within the industry. Sales intelligence tools at that time had good data on end users but there has been a niche available in the market for data specifically on channel companies (i.e. resellers, service providers, system integrators, etc.)

Although emerging vendors akin to Rain King and DiscoverOrg did provide up-to-date and relevant contact lists and profiles for IT companies, their focus was on IT buyers at Fortune 2000 companies. Then again, broader databases like InsideView , NetProspex , and Jigsaw/ Salesforce were crowd-sourced, with a variety of contacts but only a few details.

The Birth of Fossa

So, to plug these gaps available in the market and to make the lifetime of sales and marketing professionals like him easier, Clark worked toward building a comprehensive and up-to-date database of IT channel companies with relevant terminology and vendor relationships.

After engaged on it for 2 years, he resigned from his job and launched Channel Navigator in February 2012. A demo is equipped within the video below:

Clark founded Fossa LLC with an aim to avoid wasting customers money and time in executing their channel strategy by providing up-to-date, relevant business profiles, and contacts for IT channel companies. Its database covers 25,000 companies, 80% of that have below 20 employees.

A majority of its customers are channel sales and marketing organizations that enroll in its database and online tools. A few of its customers are early stage companies that don’t have a channel team yet but want the information. Companies selling SMB solutions, security, cloud services and solutions targeted at managed service providers are its top IT industry target segments.

Specialization within the channel and a smaller or niche target segment allows Fossa to produce superior quality data. Its databases are researched and updated manually after verifying the contacts and corporate information. Because it deals with only 25,000 companies rather then 40 million, is simpler to ensure and update the knowledge and be more precise.

Participation in trade shows and Clark’s relationships within the channel helped in gaining initial traction. Currently, the corporate has near 35 active customers, including Alcatel-Lucent, McAfee, Discoverorg, VAR Staffing, Shuttle and Meru Networks. It was on the right track to reach revenue of $100,000 in 2013.

The IT channel space is continually changing – vendor relationships, employee turnover and industry buzz words evolve constantly. Therefore exists a relentless need for updated information with a purpose to enrich a company’s CRM and help in making the sales process more efficient.

Research firm Gartner, in its latest IT spending outlook, projects worldwide IT spending to grow 3.1% from 2013 to succeed in $3.8 trillion in 2014. Companies like Fossa LLC will help IT vendors tap efficiently into this $3.8 trillion market.

Tuning In Photo via Shutterstock

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