In August, Nutanix rolled out their new Channel Charter – Power to the Partner. Designed to fully support Nutanix’s cloud business as well as the hyperconverged infrastructure [HCI] where their business originated, to one that fully recognizes Nutanix’s increased emphasis on the cloud. The program moved beyond revenue criteria to emphasize partners’ investments in Nutanix, including the number of deals, deals involving the Nutanix cloud ecosystem as well as HCI, and the partners’ investment in Nutanix through certifications and training.
“The feedback has been tremendous, and the industry has recognized it as being very unique and different,” said Rodney Foreman, VP of Global Channel Sales, Nutanix. “We took the feedback, and based on partner comments primarily, as well as our own perceptions of things we could do better, made some changes.”
The changes fall into several buckets. Some enhancements have been made to solution provider benefits, including improved front end margins, and a Not-for-Resale program to provide free software for Nutanix’s top two partner tiers. Distribution benefits have been enhanced. For systems integrators who don’t actually sell the Nutanix software, a new Influencer program has been introduced, to incent the Sis to include Nutanix in their designs.
A new value-added Distributor Price Book has been introduced, which will have several benefits for partners.
“The VAD Price Book provides more consistent front-end margin, as well as additional margin,” Foreman said. “Partners asked us to be more consistent, so that each deal wasn’t an adventure.”
The Price Book also provides a means for simplified quoting and ordering, which will benefit both solution providers and distributors.
“VARs have said that we have not been as timely as we should be in streamlining quotes and getting them to VARs,” Foreman stated. “The Price Book lets us do that. EDI is one of the components of that, with automating of part numbers and notifications through EDI. We have also made changes to Purchase Order submission and acknowledgement, to provide rapid automation and improve our cash flow. I think that this will help us book more at the end of quarters. This new Quote-to-Cash process with EDI will help us scale and get those orders.”
Additional incentives have been added for distributors to allow them to skill up more partners and invest in more marketing campaigns, as well as to provide the VARs with those increased front-end margins.
“We have been asking them to provide partners with skills and training, from Pioneer level to Scaler level, and especially from Scaler to Master level, and we are giving them increased incentives to do so,” Foreman said. “We are giving them a certain percentage that they can invest in partners in skilling up, or in marketing campaigns. They can pass along better front-end margins, and also hold dollars back to grow skills and help with marketing. This lets them make more money with us as well.”
A major change has also been made to provide support for Global Systems Integrators who may not actually sell software – an Influence Incentive program.
“I think will be instrumental in growing our business with the GSIs,” Foreman said. “We have been working with them, but they don’t always transact the software sale and so didn’t get compensated. Some don’t even sell software. The Influence fee program allows them to make money, up to 5 per cent, when they don’t transact. They told us that they could get us involved in more opportunities, but there had to be something for them in it. We are becoming the platform for cloud solutions. The GSIs have huge SAP practices and this will help us drive a lot of business with them.”
Nutanix is also introducing free software for demo and testing purposes, with XLAB software licenses. Scaler and Master partners are eligible.
“This is something that is entirely new, which we didn’t have formally before. There was a process but it was very ad hoc.”
More formalization has also been added to the distinctions between the reseller partner tiers in the programs Partners will now have discounting and pricing on approved opportunities which are enhanced as they move up the tiers of the charter.