A Simpler, Easier to understand  partner program is the key to Success!

By VARINDIA - 2019-01-22

A Simpler, Easier to understand  partner program is the key to Success!

With market competition intensifying and business becoming more challenging for new customer acquisitions and engagement, classic partner programs are seen to be evolving. The exponential pace of change has created anxiety across the IT industry. Any information system upgrades for improved partner experiences should deliver accurate information, address the right issues, and demonstrate an understanding of partner experiences.

 

The changes vendors seek in partner programs ought to be realistic, scalable, and ensure that a system infrastructure is in place to incentivize partners wherever they operate globally. For instance, Nutanix has opted to completely revamp its channel program with a new Velocity program (mid-market-focused) and launched its Power to Partner program channel charter shortly after, with an emphasis on enabling partners’ sales and marketing, but with no revenue requirements for partners. 

 

Dell EMC, on the other hand, has made services revenue compulsory for partner program membership. Juniper Networks, Oracle, and Red Hat (being acquired by IBM) have built new specializations and programs aimed specifically at growing partner cloud business practices, while Cisco is embarking on a multi-year journey to shift all its partner programs and incentives towards subscription and lifecycle services. VMware is leveraging its partnership with AWS to recruit experienced cloud and software partners. To streamline partner processes, HPE Pointnext reorganized its 14 services rebate categories into four.

 

Customer experience is becoming an important metric. Cloud service provider vendors AWS, Google and Alibaba Cloud are ramping up investments in partner enablement, investing in partner training and growing their portfolio of vertical, solution, and workload partner competencies. As partners increasingly develop hybrid business models shifting towards software, subscription and services, incremental benefits can center around partner activities related to customer adoption and post-sales services.

 

Partners working with numerous vendors have little patience for complex changes and may feel forced when changes happen suddenly. Partner program leaders therefore should be compelled to build simplicity into partner programs by design, taking a grounded approach towards change at the same time. Otherwise, they will be forced into changing programs, and risk alienating key partners.

 

Vivek Sharma
Managing Director, India, Data Center Group, Lenovo

“In today’s changing business landscape, having a trusted partner network has never been more important. In the past, businesses used to be able to handle one transaction at a time, before moving on to another, but those days are gone. We have first hands experience with this, as we are a channel-first company with 90% of our DCG business coming through our channel partners.


We are continually improving our infrastructure and processes to promote ease of doing business with channel partners. We have a couple of exciting announcements to come, including Lenovo Bid Portal and Lenovo Maestro, with both to be launched in early 2019.


We constantly strive to be the technology vendor that will grow alongside channel partners in the changing business landscape. We are committed to revamping the channel experience, helping our channel partners stay relevant and future proof their business through continuous dialogue with our partners to take on board their feedback. 


We are 100% committed to the growth and future of our channel partnerships in India and Asia Pacific. We continually review our partner programmes as part of our goal of promoting ease of doing business with channel partners.”

 

Ramya Chatterjee
Director – Sales (Visualization & Entertainment), Barco India 

“Barco offers an engaging framework to bring visualization solutions to the market. Partners who join the Barco Connect! program will have multiple advantages such as Reliability, Simplicity and Engagement.
Moreover, we do a thorough channel survey before introducing any partner program in India. The key to success is not what you want as an OEM … rather gauge the pulse & sentiment of your channel ecosystem that actually inspires & motivate your channel partners to achieve your program objectives.
Periodically we review the programs and partner engagement team (from Sales & Marketing departments) keep on motivating & inspiring partners to achieve the set goals of the programs.
Barco has designed the program to help partners promote Barco products and services better, augment their expertise and resources, and enhance the satisfaction of Barco's end-users. The Connect! program offers a number of partner levels with varying associated benefits and requirements. The partner level is determined on objective accreditation criteria. As of the most recent update of the Connect! the program, there are three partner levels: (i) "Authorized" partner level, (ii) "Silver" partner level, and (iii) “Gold” partner level.”

 

Piyush Somani
(Founder, MD & CEO) - ESDS Software Solution 

“At ESDS we strongly believe in administrating a partner program which would always keep the partner very relevant to his business and that is why we do not believe in offering huge commission upfront because we think giving something to the partner on a recurring basis for a certain amount of time will increase his trust in our Business. The partner’s relationship with the end customer should be maintained properly and he should be nurtured because that is extremely crucial for our business.
 

To keep things easy, we believe in giving our partners a flat commission during the lifetime of the contract when they bring business opportunities to us. We offer our partners a fix percentage on a month-on-month or quarterly basis and if they want a different structure, we then make some exceptions by designing a commission structure for them but still offering a flat percentage is always our first preference. We increase the percentage rate based on the partner’s performance and the new opportunities he brings to our business which in return helps him earn more and improve their margins.”

 

 J N Mylaraiah
Director, Sales, Enterprise, India & SAARC - CommScope

“CommScope believes that strong collaboration between Partner, CommScope and customer—sharing the goal of solving a problem, is the best way to bring CommScope solutions to market. Through periodic reviews of our partners’ program, we are able to assess how we can enable our partners to better serve our customers.CommScope believes that strong collaboration between Partner, CommScope and customer is the best way to bring CommScope solutions to market.


CommScope offers its partners training and certification through its market leading CommScope Infrastructure Academy, among other benefits. It is not enough to just provide partners with innovative solutions and products that is why we also work with them on training to provide an even deeper level of value. Our partners play a key role to offer a comprehensive benefit to our customers, which can only be achieved by the strength of a solid network of experience, knowledge and teamwork. The PartnerPRO Network consists of authorized distributors, installers, consultants and integrators backed by the global experience of CommScope and trained to provide local insight that puts our solutions to work for customers.”  

 

Vinay Sinha
 Senior Director - APJ - AMD

“AMD has partnered with major system integrators globally and with platform design wins from all top-tier PC OEMs, we have established ourselves with a strong marketing push. Through collaborations with our strong partner base in India, we are helping large enterprises, SMEs, government departments and the public at large, implement high performance computing in their everyday life.


Given today’s highly competitive market, we have an assigned channel team in India that solely focus on taking our product messaging and programs to the channel partners across the country. AMD’s channel partners are broadly classified by the line of business they address, such as component (DIY), consumer and commercial verticals and we have different programs that address their needs based on the segment they address. We believe that our partners’ success is critical to AMD’s success and invest heavily in partner education and host seminars, trainings and webinars frequently to help them refresh their AMD product knowledge. We will continue developing our partner base in India by adding discerning, experienced and effective channel partners and bringing unique channel enablement programs.”

 

Ritesh Syal
Senior Director and Head – Alliances & Channels, Oracle India

“Partners play a very important role in our success. In fact partners account for almost 40% of our overall revenue and for nearly 80% of our transactions globally. As part of this process, we take regular feedback from partners on the programs via periodic reviews and try to make them simple and easy to execute for all stakeholders. We also bring in global learnings and customize it to India as apt. With customers as the epicentre, we focus on empowering partners through the year with meetups, online and in-person trainings and joint go-to-market programs - ultimately to deliver a compelling customer experience with a services led approach. 


From a cloud growth strategy, we are focusing on two things in 2019 - (a) becoming the market leader in cloud SaaS, powered by our cloud ERP offerings; (b) helping customers upgrade to the technology of tomorrow, today - starting with the world’s first autonomous database. We have defined clear-cut partner enablement strategies on both fronts and we expect 2019 to be a significant year for Oracle India, led by strong partner collaboration for customer success.”
 

M Gurudutt
Director, Channel Sales Management & Transaction Business – Schneider Electric

“There is huge shift in the market where most partners are looking to move away from Product-centric business to Solution & Service-centric business which helps them to achieve sustainable growth with improved profitability. At Schneider Electric, we understand this and have robust plan to offer partners not only state of art product to help customers but also with a program which upgrade partners to add more value through varieties of solution centric approach.


We work closely with our partners by understanding their long and short term need in our business planning. Our Channel Partner program is designed based on constant feedback of the entire ecosystem. The program is flexible and better-targeted that includes new solutions and services. It is now easier to use through process and online changes for channel to have that increased ability to move up through the program level and access the additional benefits. APC by Schneider is more committed to helping channel partners to turn the market challenges by offering innovative solutions that are easy to sell to their enterprise customers.”

 

Rajarshi Bhattacharyya
Country Head - SUSE

“SUSE’s new channel program is based on “Technology” certification. Based on their certification, they will get “tier uplift” which will enable them to attain various channel benefits associated with their partner status. This will foster quicker adoption of technology and enhance the potential of cash in on the service revenue associated with product sales.

 

 2018 was a good year for SUSE. As a company, we announced back in last July that SUSE will become a fully independent company from Micro Focus, as we partner EQT a growth investor to continue and even accelerate our momentum as a leading provider of enterprise-grade, open source software-defined infrastructure and application delivery solutions. In India, our growth was also evident. We continue to maintain our leadership in manufacturing while growing our presence in BFSI, and private enterprise as well as public sector business opportunities are also keeping us busy last year. On channel front, we have recruited over 100 partners in India in 2018 and more than 14 partners have become accredited partners of SUSE.”

 

Vishal Parekh
Marketing Director, Kingston Technology India

“We understand that the new business models are not very different from the traditional channels that India has been accustomed to. Kingston is known to work with channel partners with good and bad times, which is the main derivative of such partner programs. By strategizing this aspect effectively over so many years since our inception in India, we educate and support our partners to evolve with our new business strategies, latest innovations, future plans and strong after sales service.


Kingston is a channel friendly company and our Channel Partner Programs have always played an essential role in strengthening the relationship between us and the partners. Our partner programs start with a specific need & a foresight which is then developed into a feasible program for giving them an edge in the market. We then make use of an efficient communication model to inform our channel network about the program with relevant valid market information. The motive is to move the benefits directly or indirectly to our massive customer base. We strongly believe that simplicity is a key for a successful partner program. The easier it is to understand, the easier it is to implement and the easier it is to be executed by all levels in the supply chain.”

 

Rajesh Goenka
Director, Sales and Marketing, RP tech India

“The success of any program depends on its creativity, rewards and ROI. Ideally partner programs should differ as much as possible to maintain its uniqueness. Vendors and distributors should try different methodology to design programs for various layers of the channels. However, any program is successful when a partner gets acknowledged and rewarded in a consistent fashion.


RP tech India is known in the industry for rolling out incentive programs that are way ahead of its times. We were the first distributor to organize a foreign trip for partners. Continuing our efforts to boost channel morale, we introduce various mystery schemes and family incentive programs. We recently unveiled the multi-city Touching Everyone’s Life (TEL) program, which aimed at providing hands-on training on new technology. We also collaborate with partners on various social causes. In short, we leverage every platform to have deeper engagement with partners and help them achieve their business goals.
Once a partner gets into the program he prefers to stay with that vendor and not scout for competing products.”

 

Ravi Raj
Brand Head & Director - NetRack

“Partner program is the prominent medium which helps the channel partners to clearly understand the current and future emerging business models and assist them in developing specific strategies to operate in specific/particular regions.  As considerable percentage of our business runs through channel partners, we invest good amount of time in designing and cross verifying the best training program for them. We frequently organize partners meet in which our partners operating/handling different regions get a chance to directly meet us and share their feedback of the market.


Partner programs offered has a remarkable role in enabling the partner easily understand the product/technology we provide and help them to analyze the markets from which they can reap good benefits. It also helps them to develop/create a blueprint to enter the global markets and allows space to achieve higher targets/revenue/profits. We always try to have a simplified partner program which is easily understandable and implementable by our partners. Sketching down/Laying out our business plan/strategy and designing the partner program goes parallel in our process.”

 

Gaurav Ahluwalia
Managing Director - R&M India

“R&M is into structured cabling market/provider space which involves frequent innovations to our products/solutions to meet the ever changing requirements of our clients. Conducting Partner programs help us to enrich our channel partners with the knowledge of new products and updates done for the existing products. This helps them to explore newer markets. It also helps us to collect feedback from the customers and have a clear understanding on their demands. Partner programs are the building blocks of any channel business. They bring us remarkable results and also good business to our partners. Considering the current and future scenarios of Indian market, we design effective partner programs and road shows which not only help us to increase our business figures but also accelerate the growth of our channel partners. R&M's regional sales representatives are always engaging with our partners in their respective regions.


R&M designs partner programs with high quality standards for pre- and post-sales activities. Best practices and series of comprehensive programs offered by R&M Academy molds our partners to achieve precision in installation, testing and maintenance.”


 

Avinash Garg
Head CHANNEL ALLIANCES & MID MARKET - INDIA & SAARC, FireEye Technologies India

“Investing in partner programs is always a good strategy to encourage and build an efficient partner ecosystem for any vendor. To remain relevant and ahead of the competition, these programs need to evolve along with the market. To keep pace with today’s developments, vendors are designing their partner programs based on the specific market segments, verticals or geographies that they cater to.


At FireEye, we make sure that our partners maintain a level of differentiation in the market and also have access to the resources required to deliver exceptional customer value. While designing these partner programs, we continue to assess the structure and offerings to ensure that it supports our key objectives of partnering.


Our partner programs are easy to understand and implement, attributing to our simplified pricing model and offerings that help the partner’s sales and pre-sales team to understand all the details. For example, the FireEye Security Suite program is designed especially for partners who are focused on the mid-market. A simple program yet delivers the Enterprise grade security to the organizations.”

 

Rajesh Doshi
Director - Zebronics India

“Channel partners are a very crucial part of the business for Zebronics. They play a very crucial role in our business model and we make sure that they get their due.


As a company, we ensure that our partners always get their due for the efforts they put in. We have many programs where incentives are given in kind; cash incentives are generally passed on as discounts, leading to unnecessary competition and interest of partners getting lost. We also have specific programs designed for the benefit of partners like for instance earlier we had organized an information program on GST, this was again for the benefit of partners.


As a company, we ensure in keeping things as simple and straightforward as we can for our partners. If the program is not clear, even if are able to loop in the partners in the program, there would be dissatisfaction, in time to come partner would be hesitant to join the partner programs. We have a large sales team equipped to handle queries and focus at ensuring that the programs are fully understood by the partners.” 

 

Mandar Joshi
 Vice President Sales, DIGISOL Systems

“As technology sector continues to evolve, the landscape of channel partner engagement is changing. We have always been a channel driven company and our endeavor is to always improvise on our channel policies and time and again we have been recognized by the channel community as one of the most channel friendly companies in India. We ensure healthy margins for the Channel and also introduce new products with newer applications to increase the scope of growth for the Channel. These new products and solutions enable the channel to value add and hence can generate better margins from their customers. We feel that profitability of the partners plays an important role in motivating them.


These days vendors and channel partners are working together and forming a stronger alliance, compared to the past, where vendors and partners alike sold a product and then would go a year or longer without speaking to each other. With the changes happening in the market ecosystem, vendors have understood the importance of not just educating the partners about their product offerings but also building a relation which goes beyond partnership.”

 

Dr Rishi Mohan Bhatnagar
President - Aeris India

“At Aeris, we believe that good partners are the key to success and investing in partnerships and shaping them to be mutually beneficial for business and value generation for clients is more critical than ever.


In our line of business, partners play a key role in the value chain. The partner program requires a comprehensive process for complete on boarding post through evaluation and selection, regular communication, sharing information beneficial for business, joint go to market and ongoing support in all engagements, big and small.   


We have built the process to keep the program simple and transparent with all stakeholders. We have identified areas of interventions which have helped us establish simple processes for easy and quick on-boarding of new partners. We hold knowledge exchange sessions on operating and growth markets to insights on our solutions and services for the development of business solutions. We have well establish process among the device, solution and connectivity partners to handle to defects pertaining to different parts (device, solution, connectivity) of the IoT solution.”

 

Sunil Kripalani
Senior Vice President (Global Sales and Marketing) - MicroWorld

“We have today more than 10,000 active channel partners across India. Channel partners help us to reach our audience efficiently and widely. We have not actively restrained from selling online, but we allow our partner to sell through these market places and help them with back-end support they require from time to time.


We work with partners based on the various levels and ensure that they get maximum profitability from eScan product and solution selling and help them acquire or win new customers through lead support and sales support. Our comprehensive channel program encompasses technical, sales, & marketing training and support programs for our esteemed channel partners. We have as discussed earlier elaborate programs for sale training, incentive, marketing support and coop marketing programs and comprehensive security certification program to empower our channel partners to provide the best security solution for their customers. We are further enhancing the value added services such as rewards and incentive programs to recognize the proactive partners for their dedicated efforts in promoting eScan.” 

 

Ashish P. Dhakan
MD & CEO, Prama Hikvision India

“It’s imperative to have well planned Partners Programs in the wake of rising competition. It complements the vendor’s key role to provide sales support for system integrator, partners and resellers for their valued-added services, including managing reseller relationships, processing orders and providing technical support.


We do have the periodic review of partner programs to check its impact on our respective market segments. Even if things are working, there is always room for perfection. By taking ownership of the program and making an honest commitment to never-ending improvement, we can take things to the next level.


It has a very effective role as to develop the marketing strategy for growing partner revenue. Also to adopt different business modules which facilitate to support the cloud computing market with deep industry knowledge.


One factor that defines the success of a partner program is its simplicity. We always design our partner program in a simplest form so that our partners can have easy access. We also focus on selecting the ideal partners, who are ready to align their goals for a successful program implementation.”

 

Sandeep Bhambhure
Managing Director, India and SAARC, Veeam

“Partners play a key role in our success as it helps in not only expanding our reach but also deliver market specific capabilities and expertise. The ever evolving technology landscape demands continued innovation and robust go-to-market strategy from vendors as well as partners to meet the challenging business needs. As cloud and the adoption of emerging technologies gain momentum, vendors and partners must increasingly focus on developing knowledge-based partnership through sustained engagements.


At Veeam, we are a 100 percent partner-led company and they play a key role in driving the company’s growth. We work with partners and engage in a strong program, called the Veeam ProPartner program. While designing a vibrant partner profitable program, we ensure to offer optimum resources and trainings to equip the partners with capabilities for robust implements and effectively support Veeam solutions. We are committed to provide accessibility of the tools and resources necessary to differentiate their business for continued growth.”

 

Neeraj Bhatia
Director - Channel and Partner Alliances, Red Hat India and South Asia

“Partner programs have become an integral part of business strategies to grow in unfamiliar and new territories, tap new customers or sell additional solutions and services.  We at Red Hat, believe that strategic partnerships are fundamental to ensure our customers’ success. Our partners with leading platform architects provide solutions that speed deployment, improve performance, and maximize return on investment.


In 2019, we will continue to support to our partners. For instance, we plan to up-skill our partners and build programs that are designed to enable them to take advantage of the opportunity to help enterprises and governments in India accelerate innovation through more agile IT infrastructure and applications.


Our partner program, Red Hat Partner Connect, supports the evolving needs of our partners - so we can share in both collaboration and success. Our program offers a flexible structure designed to accommodate our partners’ individual business models while also providing them access to a variety of benefits that help develop our partners expertise and increase their capability to sell and deliver Red Hat technologies.”

 

Chandrahas Panigrahi
CMO & Consumer Business Head, Acer

“Acer has always been a channel friendly company and we believe in growing with our channel partners. Our partners have played a pivotal role in positioning Acer as a leader in the technology segment and remain the key medium to reach out to our target audience. They are an extension of our company and the only go to route for us. Few factors that we definitely need to keep in mind are good rebates and incentives, account management, front end discounts, regular trainings, service support, ease new partner onboarding processes, providing the right sales and marketing materials, progress reports and many others. In addition to these, we also look at specific regions, the potential to grow and acceptability of our products into that existing ecosystems.


The days of going it alone in marketing is long gone. Over the years, the relationship between brands and partners have changed quite a bit. Mutual access and communication between brands and partners is important to develop a good equation. At Acer, we do things right, and we're always getting better and that's the reason we boast a cadre of key partners who bring loyalty and long-term relationships on their side of the equation.”

 

Raghuram Krishnan 
Director - Partner, Citrix India

“Partners play a crucial role in enabling our growth. Their industry knowledge and insight backed by technical expertise help us in effectively reaching out to our customers. It is therefore crucial for a vendor to set up a well thought out partner program that ensures mutual growth.


For a partner program to be successful and ensure value delivery to the customer, it must be designed to satisfy three points. Firstly, there needs to be clarity in terms of the offerings as well as the market to be addressed, followed by identifying the most active channel from that market segment and finally the value chain for the customer.


Once a partner program has been designed and implemented, it is vital to monitor the success rate of the program at periodic intervals so as to guarantee value delivery and continued progress. At Citrix, we conduct quarterly reviews to assess and ensure that there is continued benefit for both vendor and partner and also how we can work on taking it to the next level to achieve the goals that we had set in place.” 

 

Murali Urs
Country Manager - India Barracuda Networks

“The evolution of Partner programs is key to retaining and growing with partners. Partners are always looking at emerging trends in the market and how they can capitalise on the same. They will choose to partner with OEM’s who can help them cross sell and upsell into the new emerging trends while finding synergy with their existing business.


The channel eco-system has seen a quick change in the last 2 – 3 years. With the advent and adoption of SaaS and cloud platform based solutions, a host of new partners have emerged. These new partners bring in a lot of new ideas to the table and also give OEM’s new avenues to open doors with customers.
The partner program has to also be in line with these demands in the market which will encourage the partners to pick OEM vendors who firstly have the solution stack to help them address this new emerging market and secondly will look for vendors who have a good program that will help them to scale both technologically and give them good returns for their business.”

 

Shantaram Shinde
VP & National Head - Channel Business, NTT Com-Netmagic

“We see mainly two types of competitions in the markets, which calls for evolution of business models in overall Partner Business ecosystem - competition from New age Hyperscalers, which has created threat to traditional infrastructure business model and the second competition is from Within the Partner Organisation itself.


Netmagic has tailored partner programs – Reseller Partner Program and Solution Partner Program, which are customized for both of the above types. The programs take care of matured partner organisations as well as new organisations. With our 18+ years of Industry experience and 11+ years of Partner ecosystem experience we have managed to keep it very simple yet very effective. Our partner programs are detailed to ensure that there is no room for misunderstanding, doubts, or error. However, ‘detail’ must not be confused with complexity. Detailed matter is what eradicates any confusion giving way for simplicity. Whether it is a partnership or rudimentary task, clear and simple communication is the best route to complete goals with ease. We ensure this by practicing this perspective through constant and transparent conversations regarding the program.”

 

 Jitendra Ghughal
Director Channels, India & SAARC - Fortinet

“Partner programs need to continuously be optimized to make it easier for partners to be in the business without losing focus on growth. The Fortinet Alliances Ecosystem and partner program brings together a community of global technology vendors with specialized expertise. Our Partners have the flexibility to offer pre-validated technology solutions from Fabric Ready alliance partners ensuring investment protection for customers through the seamless integration with existing infrastructure. We have a long-term business association with partners by rewarding their investments and time by promoting them to higher levels in our Partner Program. 


Partners have always been a critical element of Fortinet’s go-to-market strategy. Our goal is to enable our partners to transform the security of their customers, enabling them to safeguard their evolving network requirements. We continuously take feedback from our partners to optimize our partner support program to ensure flexibility and ease of transacting business. Fortinet also works with our distributors to build options for MSSPs to lease security solutions like our FortiGate Firewall on a monthly rental.”

 

Rakesh Viswanathan,
Regional Director, India & SAARC - Cyberbit 

 “Partner Programs must evolve to stay competitive. Vendors must do everything they can to support partners, so that everyone can win. Our understanding of market dynamics and trends shape our new partner programs that will be rolled out in the next couple of months.

 

Cyberbit is a channel focused company and our strategy is built on helping partners succeed. This is how we look at the market and how we manage VARs. Cyberbit has no direct orders in India. This clearly demonstrates that Cyberbit is a channel-driven organization.

 

All of our planned strategies for 2019 are in and around supporting our partners. We know that services are the main focus of MSSPs and partners who can make a lot of money by selling services on top of our technology. We focus on technology and trying to minimize our services by pushing partners sell to their customers, so the potential profits from both products and services is very lucrative for Cyberbit partners.

 

Another important piece of our partner program is training opportunities. We hold in-depth technical and sales trainings in every region of India, every quarter. The trainings are very well received and translate in to big payoffs for our partners.”

 

 Mukesh Chaudhary,
Head, India & SAARC, Rapoo

 “With more access to data, customers are able to research products and services online like never before. As a result, digital advertising budgets have increased because of the surge in customers using social media and the ability to leverage more targeted marketing efforts. This new digital customer buying journey has also transformed the way channel partners interact and sell to customers. So now it has become the job of the brand to maintain a pulse on how customers are being served.

 

For Rapoo, we have several value-based programs and consistent communication to partners. We offer a blend of training, demos, marketing tools and also lead generation programs to keep the momentum going.

 

Our partner programs, helps channel partners and resellers embrace the transition from delivering and supporting hardware to becoming trusted advisors. In assessing the channel ecosystem, we align with partners capable of adding value in customer engagements. Also, we look for partners that are today, or would like to be in the future, more than just selling a product.”

 

Sudhindra Holla,
Sales Director, Axis Communications – India & SAARC

 Axis is a two-tier channel model with distributors and channel partners being integral part of Axis business. We have ecosystem of solution partners who cater the needs of Medium business solutions. Our channel partners drive Axis end to end solutions to different business segments. Axis network of partners, distributors, system integrators focus on industry segments like Retail, Education, Manufacturing, City surveillance, Transportation.

 

We are a channel focused company and depend heavily on our partners to execute and value add to the entire product offerings. We have a robust ‘The Axis Channel Partner Program’ that is designed to help system integrators, value-added resellers (VARs) and installers accelerate their solution sales. There are numerous benefits from this- enhanced margin opportunities, getting leverage to the industry’s most reliable product portfolio, and world-class training and support.

 

We continuously believe in rewarding our partners. Last year, we sponsored a visit to our HQ in Lund, Sweden for top focus partners. We also emphasize on training and education – which is our key differentiator. When we meet our customers, we do surveys and enquire on their needs. This knowledge eventually gets percolated to end customers, helping them make the right decisions. Additionally, we conduct webinar series, boot camp and academy training. These are some initiatives for which our partners value us for including how we empower them to be more relevant in the market place.

 

Manojit Majumdar,
VP, Global Channel Network, Newgen Software Technologies

 

“The channel partners’ experience and local presence in any given geography make them the extended hands and feet for Newgen. A model where they work independently and yet having the support from Newgen in the background increases the profitability from the perspective of partners and the company.

 

We have introduced many Partner Programs over the years. Programs like Operation Bear Hug, Big Solution Small Price, One Partner One Solution, Three Point Strategy and others, have met with varying degrees of success. Not all strategies work in all domains and geographies. It is imperative that one has a feedback and review mechanism to check the relevance of these programs.

 

We believe that our channel partners, who sell and distribute our products, play an important role in the development and marketing of our products. Our modus operandi is consultative selling. This reflects not just in the solutions that we bring to the market but also the profile of our partners as well.

 

We are increasingly collaborating with Global System Integrators and the Big 4 consultants across the world and have been also raising the bar by enabling the existing partner base to act as consultants. The partner program not only focuses on Newgen products and solutions but also lays additional stress on imparting domain expertise.

 

An effective partner program can streamline the flow of information and can also help the partner scale up to address customer needs from a holistic view. This in turn also creates an opportunity for Newgen’s partners to be more involved in the entire process of addressing such needs. They not only uncover new opportunities but are also involved in the deployment and maintenance of Newgen solutions.”

 

Debasish Mukherjee
Country Manager India & SAARC - SonicWall

 

“It’s very important that we evolve to ensure we are aligned with new business models and helping partners better address the changing needs of their customers and adoption of alternative technology platforms .We have already demonstrated this over the past year by expanding the SonicWall Secure First partner program to include a comprehensive tiered MSSP Partner Program. The SonicWall SecureFirst MSSP program offers training, enablement, support and financial benefits designed to help SecureFirst Partners grow their managed security business. We also offer a Partner Enabled Services program, for partners to deliver specialized security services including design, implementation, configuration and training to SonicWall customers.

 

Our award winning SecureFirst Partner program is designed to help our partners build a highly profitable security practice and offers a range of partnership tiers with varied requirements and associated benefits. SecureFirst Partners earn incremental discounts and rewards for the value they contribute to selling and supporting SonicWall solutions across the entire customer lifecycle. The four key areas that are provided through the SonicWall SecureFirst Partner Program are Competitive Margins and Deal Registration Protection; Technical Training and Sales Enablement; Reward for Value Benefits and Marketing and Lead Generation Support. We invest heavily in partner enablement and try to ensure that partners have access to latest updates and promotions so they can provide the best consultation to their customers, and remain profitable. As such, all Secure First partners have access to SonicWall University, the sales and technical training platform, as well as SonicWall Overdrive, a marketing campaign and demand generation platform – tools to educate, increase awareness and drive business growth.”

 

Mohan Bhat
Managing Director & Co-Founder - Accops Systems

“Accops with its continued technology innovation, Make-in-India DNA and thought leadership, is able to position itself as a leading player in the cyber-security and virtualization industry in a very short time due to its robust partner program resulting in 100% YoY growth. Accops, during its expansion phase, was able to discover many opportunities and out of the box avenues of growth just by having an effective partner program which not only gave us a competitive edge against other vendors but also resulted in business growth for our partners. Accops partner program (APP) enabled us to remain competitive as it reduced our customer acquisition costs, expanded our reach and enabled us to provide better customer service with help of our partners.

 

Unlike traditional channel business strategies may not hold good and so the partner programs which incentivized partners on a transaction basis. Customers are now looking to outsource the services and they are looking for partners and OEM who have an ecosystem of efficient service delivery. With the emergence of Cloud & SaaS based delivery model, there is less of one-time transaction business and more of ongoing small ticket business with long term service-oriented engagement. The partner program must change to adapt to this long term, small margin business model between OEM, Channel partner, and customer."

 

Satish Kumar
Co-Founder and CEO - EverestIMS Technologies

 

“A well-established Partner Program is an essential element in the whole gamut of things that make Channel Partner based business succeed. It not only gives clarity on engagement model between partners and OEM, but also acts as an insight into the whole thought process of how OEM values the role of partners. It also highlights the business outlook from the OEM making it straightforward for the Partners to align / adapt / utilize the models on offer towards their business growth.

 

In addition to the core aspects like Transaction Flow, Margins, Payment Terms and Incentives there are some very influential parallel aspects like Partner Enablement Program (including training & certification), Joint Marketing Program (including events & promotional offers), Lead Sharing & Deal Protection and Joint Representation to Customers that make an attractive partner program an effective profitable program.

 

Partners are the touch points of any market for business activities. The balance of the role share between Partners and Vendors will keep evolving with ever changing market dynamics and also the outlook of each Vendor (market entry / gaining market share / new product launch / change in business model etc.)."

 




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