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Veritas increases number and depth of support for top partners

Data protection and management player is looking to help more partners get to the top tier of its programme

In the midst of a pandemic might not seem the ideal time to update a partner programme, but given that one of the aims of the Veritas scheme is to support the development of resellers, it is proving beneficial.

The data protection player launched the latest version of its Partner Force programme with the aim of assisting, activating and accelerating channel growth, particularly in the mid-market.

Jamie Farrelly, vice-president EMEA channels and mid-market sales at Veritas, had already devised a triple A strategy for this year to make sure the firm is in the best position to support partners that want to embrace its portfolio and meet customer needs around gaining insights into their data.

To assist the channel, the vendor is working closely with those partners that have specialised around specific technologies and is encouraging the development of a network of experts that can deliver a bespoke service to customers.

In the enterprise market, the arms are going around platinum and key partners with the activate programme, with the top 2,000 partners given a “white glove” programme with social nurturing and a handle on account-based marketing on what customers are talking about.

A business development team, based in Dublin, will provide not just straightforward leads, but more detailed intelligence on customers and prospects to enterprise partners.

On the accelerate front, the vendor is working with distribution to support increased sales of its backup products, which can help customers with ransomware and protecting data. Veritas is offering customers extended trials of its software-as-a-service (SaaS) and desktop backup tools to help remote workers during the coronavirus crisis.

That triple A strategy has been in place for the past few months and the vendor has now introduced the latest incarnation of the partner programme to make life more rewarding for its most committed resellers.

“The partner programme is really simple,” said Farrelly. “As an enterprise, high mid-market company, we deal with all the major partners we think we need to in the market and have relevance with them. We have continued to make sure we focus on fewer bigger bets as well as emerging areas, like MSPs.”

The available profitability for platinum partners has increased thanks to bonus rebates based on targets for both new and renew. These are awarded on a quarterly and annual basis and will reward those that keep customers, as well as bringing new logos on board.

In the mid-market, platinum partners can also get up to 25% in discounts in the margin-builder programme to encourage those that hunt for fresh customers.

Veritas is also planning to run promotions over the year to get the channel behind specific products, having successfully run one around backup at the end of Q4.

Along with the bonuses, discounts and chances to get further rebates, the vendor’s decision to ease its tier requirements is likely to be the one that stands out in the latest partner programme.

“In a lot of our key countries, we have lowered the threshold to become platinum,” said Farrelly. “Not only to help with the coming months, but also because there are a lot of gold partners that have got to a level of capability, that might be specialist players, that are massively important to our go-to-market. We want to make sure they reap the rewards of the platinum benefits.”

He added: “We saw that the world was changing and we don’t want partners to be penalised. Our commitment will be that we won’t start chopping and changing partners around because we have lowered that threshold.”

There will also be more flexibility on marketing funds, with Veritas looking to make sure it invests in places where it will get the greatest return. That will mean pan-EMEA distributors will have more flexibility in how they can spend funds across different countries.

“We have listened to our partners and gone through an intense deep dive with our disties and we have changed the programmes accordingly when it is in our power to do so,” he said.

Farrelly said the partner programme was being underpinned by efforts on the product front, with more integration across its portfolio and the technology alliances it has to respond to customers that are continuing to press for more integration from their suppliers.

More functionality has gone into NetBackup to cover data protection and cloud migration and multicloud integration to widen out that product. Another area is the increased integration the vendor has ensured for VMware, Pure Storage and other players.

Acquisitions such as Aptare have been made to help increase the visibility of data and that, combined with protection, has been a strong pitch the firm can encourage partners to take out to market.

“We are continuing to match our channel to our technology vision, which is important and not something that everybody gets right,” said Farrelly.

“We have multimillion-dollar deals in the high end this year and it’s not because there is a hardware refresh and everyone needs more storage, it’s because we are penetrating alongside our partners much deeper with the portfolio. The value to partners of working with us has become much clearer and much deeper for them, as they work across the enterprise specifically, because they are in the conversations with us.”

That has translated into double-digit growth for platinum partners this year and accelerated growth in products that help users gain more visibility and insights into their data, he said.

“Some of our most capable and committed partners have really grasped how to make a lot more money with us, not just with the partner programme, but in terms of the services they are adding around it,” he added.

Farrelly is in no doubt that the vendor community needs to support partners in the face of coronavirus because of the role the channel will play in the post-pandemic world.

“The channel landscape itself becomes even more important in the coming quarters because they are the engine that keeps the world and the supply chain flowing,” he said.

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