CommVault partner program now rewards most skilled VARs

CommVault has added new perks to its partner program, including new deal registration options for VARs selling its data storage management software.

CommVault, a data storage management software specialist, tweaked its North American PartnerAdvantage program, boosting margins for its most technically proficient value-added resellers (VARs).

The Oceanport, N.J.-based company has also differentiated among its existing Authorized, Gold and Platinum partner designations to reward the partners that invest in CommVault expertise, said Mark Conley, director of North American channels.

"The tiers were already there, but they didn't mean much. There was not much differentiation in terms of the benefits," he said. "We had a socialistic system, so if you registered an opportunity, you got a great discount, but there was no incentive for you to invest in the relationship."

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Now, partners who invest in training and accreditation can build their margins. Authorized partners must have accreditation training for one salesperson and one technician per selling location. Gold VARs are required to train two salespeople and one technician per location, field a certified engineer and sell $250,000 in software licenses per year. Platinum partners must have six accredited sales people, three technicians, two certified engineers and sell $750,000 in licenses per year.

David Hiechel, president of Eagle Software in Salina, Kan., said he has lobbied for the formation of the partner council and is pleased that his margins on some deals will be 10 to 15 points higher.

"We're also margin-protected now on deals where an authorized partner might try to swoop in and undercut us," Hiechel said.

Conley said CommVault's new two-option deal registration system will help partners who win new accounts make more money. "The first option is if a VAR registers a new opportunity within an existing account. There's margin there but we're all about new opportunities. If you register a new opportunity in a new account, there's more margin," Conley said. He would not discuss specific margin levels.

CommVault built its business on the Galaxy backup and retrieval software but has recently broadened its horizons, stressing new data deduplication, records management and e-discovery products.

Hiechel said his company is working with some of these new offerings. "Dedupe and e-discovery are really hot with our customers," Hiechel noted.

CommVault competes with Symantec in data storage management software, and Hiechel said Symantec's problems with partners in the past are one reason he prefers to participate in CommVault's partner program.

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