Business continuity vendor Storagecraft has introduced a new version of its partner program, with changes inspired at least in part by newfound momentum in the mid-size business market.
Thew new program introduces a tiered approach ranking partners, with Authorized, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels, moves to make training more available to partners, and reinforces deal registration and MDF support, said Lee Schor, vice president of sales for the Americas at Storagecraft.
The addition of tiers — which will be sorted by a combination of certifications attained, revenue realized, and by joint business planning — was necessary at this point because the company, which has long focused on and thrived in the small business space, is “regularly moving up and to the right” in terms of customer size, Schor said.
“We’re now working with larger partners, and our products have moved further upstream,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we had a program that was compelling for partners from the local scene to a national scale.”
Aside from the introduction of tiers to the partner program, perhaps the biggest change with the new introduction is a significant shift in terms of the company’s training and certification philosophy. In the past, the company has primarily focused on in-person training, which of course carries cost — both hard and soft — for partners to attend and complete. With the relaunch of the program, Storagecraft is making all of its training available to partners online, a move that should make it easier and more affordable for partners to both reach baseline requirements and level-up their skills.
That change, and many of the other changes introduced with the new program, come directly from partner feedback, Schor said. In many ways, he characterized the changed partner program as the result of discussions with partners since the company’s new leadership team came to the forefront earlier this year. For example, partners had previously told the company that its partner portal was too fragmented and difficult to sign into and navigate, a problem which Schor said has been corrected with a single sign-on system now. Partners also bemoaned the lack of co-brandable marketing material, and the aforementioned training philosophy, both problems that Schor said have been fixed with the launch of the new program.
Much of the company’s new leadership arrived at Storagecraft in the first quarter of 2016, and then-new worldwide sales chief Marvin Blough, formerly a Dell channel executive, told ChannelBuzz.ca at that time that a new partner program was likely in the woks, suggesting that tiers would be added to support partner differentiation.
Although it has eyes on the midmarket, Schor said the company isn’t forgetting its bread and butter in the small business space. For example, its deal registration system, introduced earlier this year but enhanced with the new program launch, still offers partners the opportunity to lock in deals as small as $1,500 (U.S.), a figure much lower than the deck for deal registration for many competing business continuity vendors, Schor said. With the launch of the new program, the deal registration system has been redesigned to be easier to access and use, he added.
The launch of the program comes just weeks after the Utah-based vendor announced it has acquired Gillware Data Services out of Wisconsin, which makes a number of data recovery and backup analysis tools, its first purchase since it announced the injection of close to $200 million (U.S.) last spring. It also comes just a quarter after the company added cloud-to-cloud backup to its traditional on-prem backup and recovery options.
“Storagecraft has always been a channel company, but we recognized that there’s an opportunity to further empower our channel and to provide additional benefits to our community,” Schor said of the timing of the new program. “We feel like now’s the right time to take a look at everything, from our channel program, to new technologies we’re developing, to acquisitions.”