Today, data protection and management vendor Veritas Technologies is announcing a major restructuring of Veritas Partner Force, their channel partner program. The program has been redesigned to better reflect the broadening of the Veritas portfolio beyond their traditional backup offerings. The certification process has been greatly simplified, in part as a response to this broadening. Changes to the program to increase partner profitability potential have also been made.
The Veritas partner program had gotten somewhat stale and needed a major restructuring, said Veritas’ vice president of Global Channels and Alliances Barbara Spicek.
“The new program reflects evolution into full 360 data management company and strong enrichment of portfolio,” Spicek said. “The core redesign is intended to make it more predictable, simpler and more profitable. “Veritas has been a private company for two years now. The program needed enrichment. That’s why I was brought in. They wanted someone strong to head the channel.”
Spicek, a veteran channel chief who joined Veritas last year, and is best known for her tenure at Brocade among her earlier stops, stressed that several of the changes are designed to boost partner compensation.
“We have to be able to offer profitable partnerships to partners,” she said.
“We are increasing in deal registration opportunities on new technologies the most for our top partners, the Platinum and Gold partners, and these highest revenue and highest skill partners will get more benefits,” Spicek said. “However, all levels of partners will still benefit because deal registration increase on the new technology will apply to all partner levels.”
Spicek also said that the deal registration is simple, and that the increases represent net new resources, not a shifting of resources from other rebates to deal registration.
“It is a very clean program, which now has no multiple registrations,” she stated. “The added weighting of new technologies is a flat out increase.”
The definition of the four partner tiers – Silver and Authorized remain the bottom two – has also been sharpened.
“We are now being clearer on the revenue requirements,” Spicek said. It was pretty broad before, and there was not enough segmentation by geo within regions. This will particularly help partners in emerging regions. And with the new requirement levels, more partners will qualify for Gold and Platinum status than was the case before.” The top two tiers benefit here as well, with access to new special rebates if they exceed quarterly growth targets.
New support initiatives have also been established for partners selling into commercial and mid-market accounts.
“Veritas wants to increase midmarket and commercial opportunities, and so are taking a number of steps here,” Spicek said. “The increased deal registration is also applied to the midmarket. New product bundles with increased discounts are being introduced, as is a multitude of new marketing assets.”
The training and certification process has also been revamped.
“We have removed some very complex certification requirements,” Spicek said. “It’s now all online- based and very modular, and all at no cost.”
She said that the need for more training and certification around the newer technologies made it necessary to rethink how the older ones were certified.
“Because we had so many new product launches, and some partners are specializing around those new products, we decided that it didn’t make sense to require more complex certifications across the board. The new system is much more flexible.”
Pre-sales technical assistance for top performing partners through online chat or email has been expanded.
“This was something that was already there, which I introduced last year when I joined, but it has now been re-established, and now includes eligibility for top performing Silver partners as well,” Spicek said.
As part of the restructuring, Veritas has also overhauled its global distribution program.
“This is actually the first time that we have launched one global program,” Spicek said. “We are launching a structured distribution program across the globe, and includes MDF, back-end rebates, and our midmarket and commercial strategy.”
Spicek said that their distributors have been primarily focused on NetBackup and Backup Exec, but that they want that to change.
“We also want them to offer the full spectrum of our 360 data management portfolio,” she indicated. “We are taking steps to help them to sell beyond data protection.”
Spicek also noted that Veritas is including the work they do with their cloud provider partners.
“We work strongly with all four major providers – AWS, Azure, Google and IBM – and we are increasing the work we do with them,” she said.
Veritas does have a hybrid sales model, but the large majority of sales – close to 90 per cent – go through channel partners.