Data protection, backup and disaster recovery provider Paragon Software Group has completely redone its channel program, unveiling the Paragon “Pure Channel” Program and pledging that it will make Paragon easier to work with, expedite partner sales cycles and make them more money.
“With the Pure Channel program, we have created a program that optimizes partner workflow and truly enhances what they provide to their customers,” said Yudy Vinograd, director of channel sales for Paragon. “We have streamlined a way to help them be effective.”
While Paragon has been in business over 20 years and has always specialized in image-based technology with a toolkit of disk optimization utilities, a significant portion of their business over this time has been in the OEM space.
“We OEMed in routers, disk drives, storage arrays – anywhere where data needs to be imaged, aligned and partitioned,” Vinograd said. “In the SMB and SME space, we were there, but only with a standalone product, Hard Disk Manager, and HDM technical licenses based on it, and these were used to let IT admins do imaging of workstations and servers for backup, and had a robust set of disk management tools.”
Paragon’s aggressive push into the SMB market and above is much more recent.
“It has only been in the past year that we have gone upstream into the SMB and SME space with the advent of migration to virtual hypervisors, and the need to manage them more effectively,” Vinograd said.
“The technology that we are now offering to this market today is our Protect & Restore, version 3, which has been called probably the most robust, simple and effective product in the market,” Vinograd said. “It has similar functionality to Symantec’s Backup Exec, Veeam, or Acronis, but with a very intuitive interface. There are many players in this space and they have good technology, but we are confident we can change the game in how we can enable the channel to be effective with our technology.”
Vinograd, who has been on the job for a month in a half, completely reworked Paragon’s former channel program.
“We had tremendous pieces to the puzzle but it wasn’t packaged in an effective way for the channel,” he said. “Selling through the channel is about presenting a package with a pretty bow to be handed off, providing the right sales, and marketing tools to reach out and streamline the sales cycle for them.”
Vinograd emphasized that the Paragon Pure Channel program, which is focused on the Americas, will make it clear to partners how they make money with Paragon, and what the vendor will do for them.
“There are no hoops to jump through with us, as our partners know where we fit, because we aren’t trying to be the one-all, end-all in solutions,” he said. “It makes it easy to understand the opportunities.
“We’ve also changed the way profitability for partners is presented, and all partners regardless of tier make a minimum of 30% protected margins with our POP (Paragon Opportunity Protection) program,” Vinograd said. “The deal reg site is in front of a firewall, and it is designed to let the partner provide an outline of the opportunity in three minutes. Once we get visibility with this super-simple registration, we will give a response within two hours. It’s all automated now, and a huge change.”
Synnex is Paragon’s primary distribution partner, and when the opportunity is approved, Synnex will receive notification and it gets loaded into their system, so the partner gives the Synnex rep the PoP number and gets the information for a quote.
“We also ask the partner how they want us to work the opportunity with them,” Vinograd said. “If they want to take the technical lead themselves, we can provide resources for a webinar or live demo – or if they want us to do the heavy lifting we will pick up the ball. We will complement the way the partner wants to work the sales cycle on opportunities.”
The program’s philosophy is apparent in the unusual choice of a two tier program — Pure Platinum and Pure Gold — for a fairly large partner base of VARs, DMRs, integrators and MSPs.
“This is because of the foundational principle that we are here to give opportunities to partners,” Vinograd said. “Two levels means we aren’t going to stop any partner from registering opportunities and supporting customers. Gold and Platinum partners both get the same pricing discounts. The differentiation between them is that we work with the top tier to create more demand, and they get additional services and enhancements like SPIFs and MDF.
Revenue commitments are not the key factor in differentiating the tier levels.
“You get to be Platinum through mutual engagement strategy which has to do with business planning, the size of your customer base and how we can work together to grow your business,” Vinograd said.
“At this point, with the program, it is most important to show everyone what we can do for them,” he said.
This article originally appeared on eChannelLine.