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Vendors showcase new partner programs, more at Microsoft WPC 2014

In this roundup of vendor news from the WPC 2014, Carbonite and Concerto Cloud Services launch partner programs, BitTitan introduces its revamped partner program, and Cisco signs a data center modernization agreement with Microsoft.

Microsoft’s vendor partners crowded the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in Washington, D.C., this week, with dozens of them exhibiting alongside Microsoft. Three of those companies -- Carbonite, BitTitan and Concerto Cloud Services -- debuted new or revamped partner programs, and vendor Cisco announced a new multiyear agreement with Microsoft aimed at modernizing data centers.

Hybrid backup and recovery solutions provider Carbonite introduced its new three-tiered Carbonite Partner Program, which the vendor said it designed using feedback from longtime and potential Carbonite partners. The new program closely follows the releases of Carbonite's channel-exclusive hybrid backup solutions for small businesses as well as its new partner referral program. The vendors said the partner program's benefits include sales and technical training; marketing development funds for Gold and Platinum partners and co-marketing opportunities for all tiers (Silver, Gold and Platinum); deal registration; marketing syndication via SharedVue; a dedicated sales manager for each Carbonite partner; and Tier 2 technical support.

BitTitan, an IT change automation company for cloud-based migration and onboarding, unveiled the refreshed BitTitan Partner Program -- a single-tier partner program that now features product discounts, free online support, training, a free certification and education program, unlimited access to the BitTitan Partner Center, and marketing materials and sales tools. BitTitan's certification program involves a series of online courses and exams, and certified partners will be eligible for benefits that include free phone support.

Additionally, BitTitan said it is offering partners ongoing Office 365 workshops both online and in cities worldwide in conjunction with Microsoft and the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP). According to BitTitan, the workshops will enable partners to identify growth and upsell opportunities and further their sales process and customer relationship development. Workshop attendees qualify for additional benefits, BitTitan said.

Tribridge Concerto Cloud Services launched a new partner program at the Microsoft WPC that it says will allow partners to rapidly migrate their offerings to the cloud. Benefits of the Concerto Cloud Servicers Partner Program cover technical architecture and customer requirements evaluations, technical and organizational support, and a customized advisory process designed for the move to cloud. Further benefits of the program include operational planning, financial/licensing model development, top-down leadership/business development training and sales operations readiness, and go-to-market strategy with cloud-specific marketing collateral.

For a limited time, Concert Cloud Services said it will offer an introductory incentive for new partners. Companies that register for Concerto partnership before August 31 will not have to pay the first month's fee for each new customer deployed in the Concerto Cloud, the company said -- No payments to Concerto until the second month of the contract. The incentive is good from the date of the program registration, the vendor said.

In addition to this partner program news made at the Microsoft WPC, Cisco announced a three-year sales and go-to-market agreement with Microsoft to develop data centers through the delivery and acceleration of integrated solutions.

Cisco and Microsoft will invest in sales, marketing and engineering resources to push global alignment, Cisco said, and both companies will concentrate on integrating technologies, which include Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Nexus switching and Microsoft Cloud OS solutions like Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server and Azure. The two companies will align partner incentive programs to increase solutions-selling through shared channel partners. Also, Cisco and Microsoft sales teams will collaborate on cloud and data center opportunities. The vendors' collaboration will include a program to migrate Windows 2003 customers to Windows 2012 R2 on the Cisco UCS platform.

The integrated solutions encompass private cloud, server migration, service provider and SQL Server 2014 and will utilize Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus switching, Cisco UCS Manager with System Center integration modules and Cisco PowerTool, as well as Microsoft's Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, PowerShell, Azure and SQL Server 2014. Cisco-based integrated infrastructure solutions will include FlexPod with NetApp and Cisco Solutions for EMC VSPEX. Cisco said its Application Centric Infrastructure and InterCloud Fabric will be integrated in upcoming solutions.

For the first year of the commitment, Cisco and Microsoft will center their efforts on six countries -- the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, France and Australia -- and then expand into additional countries, according to Cisco.

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