Justin Beck, SVP of Global Sales at Instructure, delves into the evolving role of channel partners in Latin America, highlighting their growing self-sufficiency and role as trusted advisors.
How do you see the role of channel partners in Latin America evolving in the next few years?
Our partners are becoming more self-sufficient in providing their professional services to their customers as trusted advisors through collaborative efforts with Instructure. Following COVID, many institutions in the region are increasingly incorporating technology in their daily delivery models. There is a growing need and business opportunity to support them. As a global company, we are investing through our Global Channel Operations team and framework to support a targeted set of channel partners to provide best-in-class services and personalized partnerships with local institutions.
What are the key technologies you are investing in right now, and why do you think they are important for the industry?
We are constantly listening to our customers’ needs and innovating our products accordingly. Most recently, we have invested in partnerships and acquisitions that allow us to offer more than a learning management system and become a robust learning platform for primary, secondary and higher education institutions.
After COVID-19, educational institutions have made important investments in educational technology, using many tools that do not necessarily integrate seamlessly. It has become crucial to adopt robust and secure learning platforms with integrated applications, such as the Instructure Learning Platform, to foster equitable access to education and ensure a consistent learning experience. The Instructure partner program (+850) is larger than any other LMS provider.
With the emerging need for reskilling and upskilling of the workforce, it is also necessary for institutions to embrace micro-credentials to attract new types of learners and help prepare them for the jobs of the future. We just recently announced that we have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Parchment, adding the world’s largest academic credentialing platform and network to the Instructure Learning Platform.
We have also partnered with Khan Academy with the intent to roll out their Khanmigo student tutor feature within Canvas LMS to save educators time with AI-powered lesson planning, grading tools and improved student writing outcomes.
Can you discuss the cybersecurity measures you are implementing to protect both your organization and your channel partners?
First of all, our commitment to privacy starts at the concept and design stage of our products. Our commitment to protect and never sell data is foundational.
The foundation for privacy at Instructure is built upon five key principles: transparency, accountability, integrity, security and confidentiality.
We have an open security program based on preventative and detective measures, as well as processes, controls and tools helping to mitigate risks that might impact data, people, systems, operations, products and our mission as a company.
We also encrypt data in transit and at rest using known robust cryptographic protocols and ciphers. We produce SOC2 Type 2 reports annually to demonstrate Instructure’s compliance with industry best practices for security, availability, confidentiality, processing integrity and privacy.
This year we have earned the TRUSTe Enterprise Privacy Certification Seal from TrustArc, the leader in data privacy management and automation.
How do you assess and choose channel partners to collaborate with?
Naturally, we are looking for partners that have relationships with institutions in the region by providing ancillary services to their institutional partners. Partners with not only the ability to sell but also support, implement, train and help guide the success of Canvas across core primary target countries.
Can you talk about any MoUs or partnerships that you have recently signed, or are in the pipeline?
We have recently extended collaboration with Ectotec – a leading educational technology company headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico. This partnership has elevated Ectotec’s role from being a trusted channel partner for Instructure to becoming our first-ever Diamond Services partner in Latin America. As a Diamond Partner, Ectotec will offer customized services, including Customer Success and Support Packages to our clients and other partners in the LATAM region. Our topmost priority is to provide exceptional quality services to our clients, and with Ectotec’s expertise, we are confident in achieving this goal. Additionally, Ectotec will be offering the highly regarded Instructure SafeGuard Service, ensuring our team’s ongoing support in the seamless implementation and delivery of their services.
What challenges do you foresee in the IT industry, particularly concerning channel partnerships in Latin America?
We foresee the cost of technology and professional services being out of reach at times. However, this is why we train and enable our local resellers to provide their own authorized services to address this issue with cost and deliver IT services in the local language to mutually benefit all.
How does your company approach training and upskilling channel partners?
We are very proud of our channel enablement program. The program is specifically designed to provide our partners with the resources they need to be successful. The certification program focuses on Instructure specific information and skills through asynchronous courses that are followed with live webinars and ongoing enablement. Our channel partners get the best of Instructure.
Our program is delivered on and features our products. Our partners learn to sell Canvas LMS and other products from the Instructure Learning Platform by using the tools as ‘students’.
What benefits can channel partners expect when working with your organization?
We offer competitive channel program benefits, including MDF and backend rebates. We have a Partner Portal where our channel partners can engage, on-demand, with their sales opportunities, request MDF and find sales resources. Additionally, the Instructure Channel offers an unparalleled services enablement program to help our partners maximize their revenue through delivering Instructure Services to their customers.
Can you elaborate on any ongoing or upcoming initiatives aimed at expanding your company footprint in Latin America?
We have recently launched a ‘SafePassage’ initiative where our consulting and services team shadows and verifies a partner’s implementation of the Canvas platform. This initiative helps ensure the end customer’s success and builds capacity and confidence in our partner implementation teams. We have seen great success in EMEA and APAC with this program and are launching in LATAM this year.
What advice would you give to companies looking to become a channel partner with your organization?
Let’s connect. While we are not looking for hundreds of partners, we are looking to tighten our core partner network across LATAM and request partners to share their serviceable markets, language capabilities, fiscal health and current institutional partners they want to bring to the community. We are not looking for just one-off ‘deals’ but rather multiple-year relationships that are to the betterment of our Canvas community.Click below to share this article