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Nimble Storage unveils partner program for Nimble Adaptive Flash

This week in the channel, Nimble Storage launched a global partner program; NTT America signed with the Advantage Communications Group; and more.

Flash storage vendor Nimble Storage has launched a formal channel program for partners selling the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform. The Nimble Storage Partner Program introduces certification levels, incentives and sales enablement tools, and supports the vendor's alliance partners, which include Cisco and VMware.

The partner program offers three tiers: Gold, Silver and Bronze. Benefits of the Gold and Silver tiers include access to the Nimble Loyalty Incentive Program, which provide 1% marketing development funds. Gold partners are also eligible for 1% rebates based on mutually agreed-upon goals.

Incentives of the Nimble Storage Partner Program include sales performance incentive funds, a trade-in program, discounts on not-for-resale equipment used for lab and demonstration purposes, and access to Nimble's deal registration program. Nimble partners will also receive access to a dedicated channel sales and marketing team to support strategic planning; free online training courses through Nimble University; and a bi-monthly partner webinar series that educates partners about Nimble's latest products and more. Nimble has redesigned its partner portal, which now provides sales and marketing tools as well as real-time information on partners' sales data.

"One of the biggest questions I get is, 'Why did Nimble wait to launch a partner program, and why are you doing it now?'" said Alvin Da Costa, Nimble's director of worldwide channel strategy and marketing. "Generally what happens is you want to see some sort of … run rate before you implement a program, so that you have a good idea of how you want to actually structure your program. So I feel now is a good time because we crossed the 5,000-customer mark. We're doing a pretty decent amount of revenue right now." He said other factors behind Nimble's decision to launch the program include a desire to accommodate its partners' requests for differentiation in their businesses and more incentives and rebates.

NTT America partners with Advantage Communications Group

NTT America, the U.S. subsidiary of NTT Communications Corp., has entered a strategic agreement with telecommunications services broker Advantage Communications Group. The new partnership permits Advantage to sell NTT America's suite of domestic and international information and communications technology services.

Eligible Advantage agents, subagents and agent partners from The Alliance -- an industry organization for master agencies, direct sales teams and individual agents -- will now be able to sell cloud, network and data center services, as well as have access to dedicated pre-sales, engineering and post-sales support and competitive residual-based compensation.

"We've seen over the last couple of years a convergence between the telecom consultants, the MSPs [managed services providers], the VARs [value-added resellers] and the system integrators," said Kevin Goodman, director of channel strategy and marketing at NTT America. "And that was part of the reason we targeted the master agents that we have now brought on board. And that's because a lot of them have had programs to bring those VARs and MSPs into the conversation. Before, when they were two separate disciplines -- before cloud -- you had the VARs and the system integrators focused on one area, and the telecom consultants focused on another. Now that they're all speaking to the same decision maker, we've seen a lot of them having a joint campaign as they go into the customer or finding some type of teaming or alliance strategy so they can both be more successful."

Avnet Government Solutions adds HP to its GSA schedule

Avnet Government Solutions LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Avnet Technology Solutions, has expanded its General Service Administration (GSA) schedule to include HP technology. The addition of HP to the GSA schedule provides partners with access to the federal government's Government-Wide Acquisition Contract without having to invest to hold their own contract.

CompTIA working on Business Model Benchmark tool

Nonprofit IT industry association CompTIA has announced it's developing the CompTIA Business Model Benchmark, a new assessment tool for solution providers to get an improved short- and long-term view of their financial and operating models.

CompTIA said the tool aims to help solution providers expand their financial acumen, particularly those that are either transitioning or considering changing their business model. Companies that participate in the program will receive benchmark information from the IT channel, such as average revenue, average net profit, and mix of product versus service revenue.

CompTIA is giving its Premier Members a free one-hour financial consultation to discuss their Business Model Benchmark results and how their businesses compare to other channel firms.

IndependenceIT bolsters Microsoft RemoteApp support

IndependenceIT has enhanced support for Microsoft RemoteApp with automated workflow and delivery included in the 4.1 version of Cloud Workspace Suite.

The enhancement offers delivery of one or more applications to any user device regardless of operating system or hardware platform. Capabilities include automated RemoteApp services configuration and deployment, unified multi-tenant RemoteApp gateway, Cloud Workspace Suite global service broker compatibility, and HTML5 gateway support.

Equinix introduces global partner program

Global interconnection and data center company Equinix Inc. has launched a global channel partner program for MSPs, network service providers, system integrators and solution providers. The new program focuses on helping partners design and deploy IT and cloud products for enterprise customers, and allows partners to resell and refer Equinix services.

Equinix partners can engage with Equinix and its enterprise customers in three ways: as a reseller, referral agent or cloud technology platform partner.

Arrow Electronics signs deal with Splunk

Distributor Arrow Electronics has signed a distribution agreement with operational intelligence software vendor Splunk Inc. Under the agreement, Arrow resellers can now sell Splunk Enterprise, Hunk, and Splunk App for Enterprise Security.

Avention launches Partner Connect program

B2B business intelligence provider Avention Inc. has launched the Avention Partner Connect program, a new channel program to support partners in delivering the vendor's library of business data to their customers.

The program targets three partner types: platform partners, certified resellers and referral partners. Working with Avention, platform partners develop and promote complementary offerings, including customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning and industry-specific products. Certified resellers provide pre-sales support to end customers for Avention's technology. Referral partners are made up of consultants and small business owners who introduce their clients to the vendor's platform.

Next Steps

Also this week, HP made a flurry of announcements at the Global Partner Conference and pitched a detailed action plan for partners to create hybrid IT business practices

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