Tintri, which makes what it calls VAS – VM-aware storage – for virtualization and cloud environments, has announced significant changes to its channel program, and added a second value-added distributor. The changes are all prompted by the same thing – the need to enhance Tintri’s channel support mechanisms due to their growth of solutions and sales over the last couple of years.
“The channel program is being enhanced because we have grown significantly and more than doubled our business and our program needed to reflect this,” said Michael McGuire, Tintri’s Chief Sales Officer. “As we have grown up as a company, we needed the same maturity in our channel program. We also wanted to have more consistency globally, because many of our customers are global.”
The changes begin with the recognition that Tintri’s single-tier program had been made obsolete by the growing complexity of its partner base. The program now has four tiers, Elite, Premier, Authorized, and Registered, each with appropriate benefits.
“While we had seen our teams do things with partners locally, our formal program was simply a system of Registered Partners, and partners who were not registered,” McGuire said. “We needed to enhance that because we have a wider range of partners now.”
Another major change is enhancements to the certification program.
“These had to grow up to enhance the improvements we have made at the product level,” McGuire said. As our business evolved, we had to have the certifications evolve as well.
Some certifications, around VAS, are the same because VAS has not changed, but we have improved the incentives for getting the certification,” he stated. “We have also had many releases of software since the certifications were last reworked, so we have made changes. In addition, what we had not done before is provide a way partners could programmatically track and earn their way to the full credential, and we have now done this.”
McGuire emphasized that Tintri’s certifications reflect the importance of the partner being able to understand virtualization as a value proposition to present to their customers.
“The changes reward partners who can differentiate themselves in virtualization,” he said.
Tintri’s system of MDF funding has also been changed to reflect the company’s maturity.
“The MDF needed to be easier to get,” McGuire said. “We also wanted it to be clearer how partners earned the MDF. When we were an early-stage startup, it was less clear how they would earn the MDF. We also wanted to make it clear how partners using MDF can differentiate from other partners, which wasn’t that clear before.
“In addition, now that we have more revenue, we can execute these as straight MDF programs, whereas before they tended to be more tailored marketing events,” McGuire added.
Tintri has also formally laid out its sales incentives and the system by which partners can claim and receive them – really, for the first time.
“New sales incents is something that we didn’t have programmatized before,” McGuire said. “We did it by partners, negotiated it on a partner by partner basis. Now we are creating something that’s programmatically established for the first time.”
Tintri has also both expanded and improved their Not-for-Resale (NFR) Purchase Program.
“What’s new is there is now a second way to acquire NFR,” McGuire said. “Before, it was a discounting program, and now it can be achieved through sales activity. It is also improved because we are making it much more affordable.”
Tintri now has over 300 partners globally, and has expanded its presence in Canada.
“We put our first dedicated channel leader into Canada last summer,” McGuire said. “We have established some very strong customer partnerships in Canada, but our base there has been limited, so now we are actively using partners to develop our presence in Canada farther and wider.”
In addition to the channel program changes, Tintri has signed on a new distributor, entering into a new North American deal with Promark Technology, a specialized entity within the Ingram Micro stable. McGuire emphasized that this deal as well reflects Tintri’s growing maturity as a company.
“We worked entirely with Arrow before this,” he said. “However, distributors often say that having another as competition is not always a bad thing, and in this case, this supplements our coverage with a distributor that has very specific specialties. Promark has some competencies in storage and virtualization that are very specialized. That area of specialization is our core reason for going with them. They are a boutique distributor that serves DMRs, large VARs and boutique VARs very well.”