NetApp has cut the ribbon on a number of enhancements to its partner programme as it readies its channel for changes to the tier structure.
In July 2020, the data player updated its channel scheme and made enhancements to its Unified Partner Programme, and is set on introducing a new partner tier structure next year.
NetApp is using these changes to get the channel lined up for the restructuring, and so it is focusing on widening the support it can right now. The general theme is to encourage specialisations and to make rewards clearer and simpler with benefits on offer for a wide range of behaviour.
Changes for financial year (FY) 2022 include expanding the partner ecosystem to include specialist partners, streamlining incentives to align with key focus areas, including customer acquisition and selling cloud, as well as providing new partner rewards to those that drive deal closures.
There are also fresh solution specifications around Cloud Preferred, FlexPod, SAP, AI/ML, data protection, data security, hosting service provider, infrastructure, and Spot by NetApp Preferred. Service-certified specialisations are also on offer for those partners that want to stand out.
Finally, the vendor is introducing Partner Connect 2.0, an updated partner locator that should make it easier for customers to find a provider that meets their needs.
“We are transforming our Unified Partner Programme and evolving its structure to make doing business with NetApp simpler and more profitable for our partners than ever before,” said Chris Lamborn, head of global partner GTM and programmes at NetApp.
“The latest updates are just the start of a multi-phase strategy to incentivise and reward our partners for their solution expertise, while delivering greater value to their customers,” he added.
The vendor shared the reaction of one partner to the changes, with John Woodall, vice-president of engineering at GDT, giving the enhancements the thumbs up.
“The new updates to the Unified Partner Programme will make it easier to do business with NetApp. Together, by offering a simpler experience, more flexibility and clear areas for our joint investment, these changes will enable us to further differentiate based on our expertise and contributions,” he said.
These enhancements come ahead of the changes to the tiered structure next year, when NetApp will be reducing the number of tiers and measuring partner success based on the contribution they make rather than just their revenue-generating abilities.