The Channel Raises the Bar: Partner Program Guide 2020


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As resellers evolve into solution providers, mission-critical service providers, and MSPs, partner programs that link them to their IT vendor partners must do the same. And not all supplier partner programs are created equal.

Given the importance of IT vendor channel programs, CRN annually develops its Partner Program Guide to provide the channel community with a detailed overview of the partner programs offered by IT manufacturers, software developers, service companies and distributors.

Recognizing that technical service capabilities may be a more important benchmark for partner success than sales volume, VMware, for example, launched a new partner program in early March that drastically changes the way the tech giant virtualization engages and motivates its thousands of distribution partners. worldwide. VMware Partner Connect, the company’s first new distribution program since 2009, focuses on technical services rather than sales thresholds and will integrate the distribution programs of recently acquired Pivotal Software, Carbon Black and VeloCloud.

“Regardless of the business model, partners can access the entire portfolio, that’s the guiding principle,” said Richard Steeves, senior director of VMware’s global partner programs, in an interview with CRN. “Partners can choose their own adventure in the program. They differentiate themselves according to their investment strategy and their business model.

The new program allocates the most discounts, incentives and co-sales opportunities to partners who achieve VMware Master Services skills, a fact appreciated by Worth Davis, executive vice president and CTO of Computex Technology Solutions, a VMware partner based in Houston.

“The skills of Master Services make sense,” Davis said in an interview with CRN. “As a partner, we try to do the right thing for a client. This can represent two to four Master Services skills at one time. If I’m selling as much VMware as I can across multiple skillsets, that’s a good thing. We’ll have them all here at Computex.

Solution providers are embracing a recurring revenue model and delivering more comprehensive, higher-value services to meet customer demands, said Geoff Ashley, vice president of strategy and partner programs at application developer Acumatica , in an interview with CRN. “The chain itself is becoming more and more efficient. The chain itself raises the bar.

Acumatica sells its cloud ERP applications entirely through the channel and relies heavily on partners to market the Acumatica brand and to acquire and retain customers. The company has been steadily expanding its partner program capabilities lately, providing extensive onboarding and training for new partners and providing services, dedicated account managers and self-service content to support partners. to develop their brands around their core competencies and improve their sales capabilities. .

In September, the company launched a corporate partnership initiative, recruiting a small number of solution providers and system integrators to reach customers with annual revenue exceeding $ 500 million.

The Partner Program Guide is based on the detailed applications that IT companies submit, describing all aspects of their partner programs. To assemble the partner program guide, The Channel Company’s research team analyzes vendor applications and designates some of the companies as 5 stars based on a range of criteria, including partner incentives, margins and discounts, partner profitability, subscription and consumption-based prices. , sales leads, marketing assistance, pre and post sales support, programs to help partners develop their services, training and education offerings, technical certifications, etc.

The 5 Star designation recognizes an elite subset of partner programs that offer key partnership elements in their channel programs. The 5-star rating is given to programs with an exemplary overall rating. They are listed on our list next to their company name.

IT vendors are listed alphabetically on the following pages along with sample partner program data.

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About Irene J. O'Donnell

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