Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has decentralised its global payment model and given local resellers more say on the mix of rebate and marketing funding they receive. But under the changes distributors will lose out on channel development compensation as deal registration moves online.
Previously partners were given a set rebate and pot of funds dependent on their accreditation level in the worldwide True North Channel Partner programme but the system was too rigid.
Platinum and Gold partners will see a doubling of funds (up to 7 per cent) with increases to rebates, marketing development funds (MDF) and the addition of co-op cash to pay for short term marketing campaigns, said HDS.
Top tier partners will be able to determine the mix of rebate, MDF and co-op funding based on hitting quarterly targets said Neil Evans, sales director at HDS.
"If a partner wants to focus more short term marketing activities we’ll give him more co-op and less MDF…some partners might want only back-end rebates because they would like to invest in HDS sales resource," he told Microscope.
"We recognise that UK partners are different to partners in Poland or the US and regaining that flexibility in-country is probably more beneficial to partners than running a global programme that didn’t address their needs," Evans added.
Glyn Jones, business development manager within the systems integration group at Platinum partner SCC said HDS clearly felt it had some ground to make up with respect to rivals’ partner programmes but said the move was logical.
"Giving the country operations flexibility to go to a partner and create a business plan has got to be a good move," he said.
In other changes to the True North Channel Partner scheme, HDS has folded Sales Associate partners into a Silver tier while the 50 or so SME focused resellers recruited by distributor Ingram Micro to sell the vendor’s SMS line will become Bronze partners.
Silver , as well as Gold and Platinum partners can now register deals via the web portal and they get "foot print pricing - a competitive displacement programme" said Evans.
Bell Micro and Zycko had operated the deal registration scheme for Gold and Platinum partners "and were previously eligible for channel development funds (CDF)", before it moved online said Evans.
Dan Orchard, HDS business development manager at Zycko refused to detail the amount of CDF it received from HDS but said its removal was "not a huge problem" as it was seeing growth with existing and new resellers.