By definition, all VARs are resellers, but not all resellers are VARs. That realization--which doesn't always come easily to organizations developing partner programs--is at the core of two new reseller offerings announced this week by cloud virtualization vendor Infinitely Virtual. They're a good example of how to do things right in the channel.

Infinitely Virtual was founded in 2003, before anyone was talking about cloud computing. But since it offers a variety of services, including cloud, email and website hosting, that fall under the category of cloud computing when defined broadly, the company now positions itself as a hub for "effortless cloud computing."

Infinitely Virtual operates in a tight niche, but one of the ways it's seeking to differentiate itself is through flexible reseller opportunities that allow partners to integrate the company's products into their own solutions without having to commit to a rigid set of reseller policies. Instead, Infinitely Virtual is offering a dual-option reseller program that provides two plans, each tailored to meet a different set of reseller needs.

The first plan, which the company is calling the Infinitely Virtual Reseller Program, allows partners to resell the company's products without rebranding them or providing support themselves. Infinitely Virtual compensates these resellers via commissions, providing opportunities for partners to generate value with the company's products without having to invest heavily in typical VAR activities.

At the same time, for partners interested in working with Infinitely Virtual as more traditional VARs, the Infinitely Virtual VAR Partner Program permits private-labeling and higher financial rewards for resellers. Partners are also responsible for post-sales product support under this model.

To be sure, "VAR," "reseller" and "partner" can mean different things in different contexts. But what Infinitely Virtual recognizes is that not all potential partners with an interest in reselling opportunities are prepared for the same level of commitment when partnering. The company's nuanced approach to the channel is smart--particularly given that it is competing in the very crowded area of cloud computing, where organizations have plenty of other places to look if they don't like one reselling opportunity. That sort of flexibility should be key to more VAR policies.