So what is Brigantia?
As Product Marketing Manager at Brigantia and doing a lot of product demos to new prospect partners, this is a question I get asked a lot.
Brigantia is a distributor. But is that accurate? The dictionary describes a distributor in the following way:
- an agent who supplies goods to retailers.
In basic terms, that is what we do, we buy product from vendors and sell them on to “retailers”, or more accurately in our industry, to MSPs. But is that all we do?
The answer to that is quite simply no.
In my 20 odd (in all meanings of the word) years in distribution, I have worked for and competed with a variety of different distributors. I started out in a white label PC distributor back in Cape Town in the 90s and while we thought we had the best PCs on the market because we used Asus motherboards and Intel CPUs, the reality is that we were just doing a different badged version of what everyone else was building. We never added any value to our customers and inevitably, they bought our product if we were the cheapest in the market because at the end of the day, an Intel Pentium 133mhz CPU is the same product whether you bought it from us or not.
Fast forward to 2020 and in many ways, the situation is still the same. There are massive distributors all over the world that supply their channel with the products their customers ask for. There is nothing wrong with doing that, but in an evolving market, if you are a reseller of technology and services, how do you differentiate yourself from your competition?
Well, what we do is try and add value to the products we sell by working as closely as we can with our partners to ensure they have the best possible chance of having success selling our range.
This is not an entirely unselfish thing to do, naturally, if our partners sell more, we sell more, but the fact remains that our partners sell more.
So what value do we add?
We work with our partners, through our team of product specialists, to assist with initial internal product training for sales and technical staff. Once a partner decides to take our range to their customer base, we then provide end user demos to their end users as the partner, we deliver intensive PoCs to the end users.
We assist with planning, promotion and funding of cybersecurity focused end user events hosted by our partners. We find that these events are hugely beneficial for our MSP partners because it allows them to position themselves as trusted authorities in the cybersecurity market which in turn drives sales and allows them to expand the range of solutions the end users purchase.
One thing we do not do is technical support, but that is not to say we will not help with issues, our product specialists have a deep technical understanding of our solutions so we will help to a point, but when things go wrong, and I will not lie, sometimes things don’t work, so in those cases, we facilitate communications between our partners and vendors and monitor the process to ensure our partners get the technical support they expect and require.
In some cases, we will go as far as managing our solutions on behalf of our partners. An example of this is our highly successful KnowBe4 Managed Service, where for a small uplift on the cost of the user license, we deliver the full solution to the end user which means a product that needs to be actively managed to deliver on the huge value it has, becomes an “install and forget” type solution and allows the MSP to keep doing what they need to do for their customers on a daily basis. It also means end users see the ROI and are more likely to renew each year.
I guess the short answer to all the above is to say we are an extension of our vendor and partners sales teams. We will provide whatever assistance our partners need to win opportunities.
It is probably also worth pointing out some things we are not.
We are not a broad base distributor, and never will be. We have a small range of solutions that complement each other. We could take on a million vendors and have a huge pricelist but how would we actually be of any benefit to our vendors or our partners if we did that?
We are not about being the cheapest in the market. That does not mean our products are expensive, it is just to say that if a customer is expecting us to drop our prices just to win a deal, it is unlikely we will do that because we see huge value in what we sell and want to work with partners that understand that and win opportunities because they also deliver added value to their customers.
We are never going to send out a pricelist and a few PDFs and expect our partners to sell with just those basic things to help them. We do not expect our partners to be product specialists, we expect them to be service experts because that is what their customers ultimately expect.
As someone that has been through a lot of different times in the industry, it is great to be part of a business that isn’t just a “trader”. We are obviously driven to make as much money as we possibly can, we are not a charity after all, but what makes me proud to be part of this growing team is that we really do try and add value to both vendors and partners and by doing that, we will continue to grow and succeed.
What makes me sure of this fact is that at the PCR Awards after party, a well respected MSP that I have seen at various networking events over the past 2 years, came to say hello to me and then got into a long discussion with one of my key partners who then proceeded to tell the MSP all about Brigantia and how we have worked to with the partner to deliver value for them on various products like Heimdal Security and KnowBe4, I stood back and let them chat because there is nothing better than an existing partner going to great detail to tell prospect customers what we do.
In closing, if you are reading this and are not getting any of these value-adds from your current distributor, why not give us a call and put us to the test?