There is no such thing as the typical partner; at least not anymore. Much like the inhabitant of Loch Ness or the Yeti we have grown accustomed to the usual sightings – but in reality, none of the three exist.
As for the partner, this was not always the case. Only a few years back, channel structures and partner offerings were very much straightforward. A major part of the business involved working with the value added reseller base. Services were straightforward, either support or, sometimes, PS. The contractual relationships where clear. But more importantly, these VARs slotted quite nicely into the channel landscape and there was little overlap between them and other channel providers – distributors, integrators, providers, and the like. They were – in the truest sense – the typical partner.
These VARs formidably supported the sales pipeline and efforts of IT vendors into the market extending their reach quite dramatically.
This picture has changed. The channel is in turmoil. Players diversify on a large scale as they leverage services to broaden their footprint at the customer. These days, it is just as common to find a reseller with a well-developed services portfolio as it is to find an integrator who does major business through consultancy or services. Everything is possible.
So, here’s the catch: Vendors have been slow to adapt their partner offerings to the channel realities. Partner programs were for a large part organized in silos that offered little leeway in terms of flexibility. Partner incentive models had a lot to do with this. With bookings accounting for most of the incentives, different models of acknowledging partner success were hard to implement. And to be honest, NetApp has followed this very path for some time.
Fast forward to today. Channel diversification means that marketing, development, sales, delivery, services, and support offerings all need to be reflected in the vendors’ partner programs. This is what we are doing with the major global revamp of the NetApp Partner Program that we just announced publicly. Get ready for:
- A new unified approach for all partners that resell, host and/or integrate with only one agreement to sign
- Partner diversification based on capabilities instead of rigid contractual confinements
- Customers’ easy choice of the right partner with the right tools and knowledge for the job. Plus a brand-new end-user facing Partner Directory
- Enhanced Star Partner reward programs for growth and competency
- Solution incentives to drive partner profitability
The bottom line is simple: Participating Partners get the full recognition for the value they deliver. Whether they are a reseller, vertical solution integrator, service provider, or a new breed in-between, they now have the ability and partner status to offer a multi-faceted catalogue of services, products and options. NetApp adds broad financial and enablement benefits that help partners advance their businesses to bring the best, broadest, most complete solution to the customer.
It is easy to spot the beauty in the new setup. If our partners add value to the customer, they will be rewarded. We are setting all types of partners, alliances and vendor partners up for future growth, even if the landscape has vastly grown in complexity. To learn more about all the good things coming your way, reach out to your NetApp partner manager TODAY!