AvePoint, a Microsoft specialist born in Singapore, is embarking on an aggressive partner recruitment strategy centred around the addition of 41,000 new channel logos within the space of two years.
Such bold ambitions, outlined exclusively to Channel Asia, highlight an independent software vendor (ISV) on the charge for growth following 12 months of success across all operated markets globally.
Recently crowned as a triple award winner with Microsoft in Singapore - including Country Partner of the Year honours - the US-based business is seeking to expand on a base of more than 16,000 customers and seven million cloud users worldwide.
“We want to add 41,000 new channel logos in the next two years,” said Tianyi Jiang, co-founder and co-CEO of AvePoint. “Our channel goal is ambitious and will require us to heavily invest our resources and energies into ensuring our partners’ success from product to support.
“For the Asia Pacific market specifically, we have traditionally done a higher ratio of services to product sales than in other markets.”
In 2020, Tianyi Jiang said plans are in place to deepen product penetration in the region through direct sales and new partnerships, which will be driven from the ISV's Singapore office. The market push follows 40 per cent revenue growth at a 103 per cent dollar renewal/retention rate during the past 12 months.
“We want to achieve similar revenue and renewal rates in 2020,” Tianyi Jiang added. “We were particularly strong in Asia Pacific, but all of our regions hit their growth targets.
“Our global partnership with Ingram Micro as the exclusive migration and back-up provider of the Modern Workplace Accelerate program was also an important milestone. It has opened up a new market and key growth avenue for us.
“From a technical perspective, we continued to develop and invest in our cloud platform which now has 12 instances worldwide and achieved ISO 27001 certification. We also launched the world’s fastest cloud file migration technology.”
Founded in 2001, AvePoint specialises in offering data governance, protection and migration solutions for Office 365 and SharePoint, with the provider’s Cloud Governance product helping organisations better govern and secure Microsoft Teams.
In January, the business secured approximately $200 million in funding from new minority equity investors as part of plans to drive global growth and expansion. In addition to recapitalising long-term shareholders, the capital raise was led by a Series C Preferred Equity investment from TPG Sixth Street Partners with additional participation from both new and existing investors, including Goldman Sachs.
“We are the only vendor with a full suite of Office 365 data management solutions that can support customers whether they are on-premises, hybrid or all in the cloud,” Tianyi Jiang explained.
In 2013, the business invested in its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, growing to become the world’s largest third-party SaaS solution for Office 365.
“Our platform is much more mature than our competitors with a fully modern, secure and elastic cloud architecture,” Tianyi Jiang said. “At the product level, our two highest grossing solutions are cloud back-up and cloud governance, each of which have very distinct value propositions.
“There are a lot of back-up vendors in the Office 365 space, but since we grew up in the SharePoint world, we back-up a lot of advanced Office 365 workloads, like Groups or Planner, that others don’t. Data grows quickly in Office 365 so the maturity and scalability of our SaaS infrastructure is a key selling point as well.”
Meanwhile, AvePoint’s cloud governance product helps manage and drive adoption for Microsoft Teams, the fastest growing business application in the vendor’s history.
“Microsoft Teams is setting the world on fire,” Tianyi Jiang acknowledged. “At over 20 million active users, it has eclipsed Slack, but that’s just ten per cent of the 200 million commercial Office 365 active users. Adoption has been rapid, but there is so much more to come.”
But Tianyi Jiang was quick to acknowledge that some organisations have been challenged by Teams, with security concerns preventing users from fully adopting the service and maximising Office 365 investments.
“Our solution helps them overcome these obstacles by securely automating the provisioning, management and expiration of Teams workspaces,” he added.
According to Tianyi Jiang, AvePoint plans to use its latest round of funding to “accelerate its growth and investment” into the channel, with a specific focus on managed service providers (MSPs) serving small and medium business customers.
At this stage, MSPs can currently purchase AvePoint solutions from distributors including Ingram Micro, Synnex, Tech Data and Intcomex.
“Our strategy is to service all organisations with an annual revenue of less than $250 million through channel distributors and MSPs,” Tianyi Jiang outlined. “We will also look to cultivate partnerships with integrators and other service partners for deals in the mid-market and enterprise level.
“Ultimately, we have a new opportunity to package our enterprise level SaaS solutions into an attractive offering for SMBs. We are going to focus aggressively on growing and supporting this new market segment for AvePoint.”
The business recently worked with a Miken, a North American based MSP, to migrate clients from Slack to Microsoft Teams, in addition to transitioning from G-Suite to Office 365 using its FLY migration solution.
“For Miken’s client it was critically important the Slack channel conversation history was migrated into Teams and we are one of only a handful of vendors that can do it,” Tianyi Jiang added. “We also worked with a Singapore-based global retail chain to secure their Teams’ collaboration across thousands of internal users and their supply chain.”
In a direct message to the ecosystem, Tianyi Jiang cited “agility” as the key difference between success and failure in 2020.
“A year is a lifetime in the technology space, especially for software companies,” he said. “Microsoft and other major cloud providers are innovating faster than ever. Successful technology providers need to stay a step ahead and be thoughtful about where and how they provide added value.”