Actiance Inc. is building a U.S. channel for its social media compliance and unified communications security software. The Belmont, Calif.-based company aims to grow its business and views partnering as the way to do that. Earlier this year, Actiance hired A.J. Tedesco, channel sales manager with e-mail and web security vendor M86 Security, as director of channel sales. The company has been building relations with partners stateside, having previously developed channels in EMEA and Asia/Pacific.

“We changed the way the company has done business in the past six months or so,” said Sarah Carter, vice president of marketing at Actiance. “We’re really focusing on a certain number of key reseller partners and driving business through them.”

That reseller push also encompasses MSPs. In that area, Actiance already partners with companies such as LiveOffice, Global Relay and Smarsh.

Resellers can offer customers Actiance’s Socialite software, a social media security, management, and compliance product that focuses on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. They can also provide the company’s Vantage software, which handles security and compliance chores for unified communications and instant messaging. Actiance’s Unified Security Gateway is also in the mix.

Socialite and Vantage are packaged as both on-site and SaaS offerings. Vantage, for example, is available as SaaS through Smarsh, Global Relay and LiveOffice.

Channel Background

Actiance first built channel programs overseas, where cost and distance favored indirect sales. While those channel developments evolved over the past eight years, much of Actiance’s U.S. business has been direct. But that approach isn’t scalable, Carter noted. She said the company can’t add masses of sales people to grow the organization. Hence the need for a U.S. channel.

Carter said Actiance partners receive product training and MDF funds. The company also co-funds events with its partners.

In addition to resellers and MSPs, the Actiance channel also includes social media agencies. Those agencies, which work with customers on their social media strategies and content, could act as resellers or work under a finder’s fee arrangement.

Actiance also partners with IBM, a long-time ally. The companies have been working together in conjunction with IBM’s Sametime unified communications software. More recently, IBM announced plans to offer Actiance’s technology with IBM Connections, a social software product targeting businesses. The resulting product, Vantage for IBM Connections, will let customers archive social media content.

Actiance partners receive product training and MDF funds. The company also co-funds events with its partners.

But Actiance isn’t the only company in social media management courting resellers. On the social media archiving side, Backupify and Arkovi are among the companies with partnering initiatives.

Vertical Markets

Companies working with Actiance can expect to see action in the financial services and energy/utilities industries. Carter cited those sectors as key markets. She also pointed to retailers as an emerging vertical.

Actiance launched a federal government division early this year. Partners play a role here as well. The company is working to have its products to be available on the General Services Administration schedule through Carahsoft and on NASA’s SEWP IV program through Affigent.