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New Commvault partner incentives aim to deepen alliances

Commvault is looking to differentiate itself from competitors by expanding its channel incentives program and enablement resources; other news from the week.

Data software vendor Commvault has unveiled a series of partner program updates in a bid to fuel channel sales. 

The vendor this week ratcheted up the financial benefits for solution providers and distributors. Complementing the new incentives, which include rewards for landing new customers, Commvault said partners can now tap into enhanced enablement tools and simplified sales processes. While the updates focus on invigorating Commvault's existing base of channel partners, the company aims to entice new strategic partnerships in geographies and verticals where it lacks a presence.

"Partners were already doing a lot of business because of [Commvault's technology]. ... Now, we are giving them more reasons to do business with us by making it easier to do business with us, giving them better enablement tools and processes and, also, adding to that, some brand-new financial incentives," said Carmen Sorice, vice president of worldwide route services at Commvault, based in Tinton Falls, N.J.

Sorice said the new financial benefits fall under three categories:

  • New customer incentives. Commvault's new logo rebate provides partners with upfront and back-end rebates for winning new customers. After closing a new customer, partners can receive an additional rebate for expanding sales with that customer within 180 days.
  • Year-end bonus program. The vendor previously offered a quarterly bonus for partners for reaching or exceeding a quarterly sales quota. Commvault will now offer a year-end bonus, in addition to quarterly bonuses. "If they hit their annual number, they will have a chance at an annual rebate based on their attainment. ... If they hit 120% or 150%, those are two tiers that will accelerate payments for our partners for rebates," Sorice said.
  • Business development funds (BDF). Under the Partner Advantage program, solution providers and distributors can earn BDF based on the revenue they generate with Commvault. The company has increased the percentage of BDF they can obtain, as well as BDF for large channel organizations working with Commvault to sell into the midmarket. "We are really trying to get those larger partners to take us with them into the market as partners as we jointly try to penetrate that midmarket space," he said.

The size of the financial incentives partners can receive depends on the partner's status in the three-tiered Partner Advantage program. Those tiers, which remain unchanged by this week's program updates, include Authorized, Premier and MarketBuilder.

Carmen Sorice, vice president of worldwide route services, CommvaultCarmen Sorice

On the enablement front, Commvault partners can now get easier access to training, sales support, marketing materials and simplified quoting, the vendor said. Additionally, Commvault revised its deal registration program to facilitate sales partner business types besides solutions providers and distributors. These include technology alliance partners, such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and global systems integrators. Sorice noted that HPE has enabled its sellers to offer Commvault products.

While partner feedback largely informed Commvault's latest channel investments, Sorice noted the company's new CEO, Sanjay Mirchandani, who joined the company in February, influenced the update. He said Mirchandani is taking Commvault in an increasingly channel-centric direction.

"[Mirchandani brought to the table an increased focus in channels and partners," he said.

Other recently appointed senior executives are also in support of building out incentives and tools for partners. For example, Ricardo Di Blasio, who joined Commvault as chief revenue officer in May, "has a lot of domain expertise and knows how to build business with partners," Sorice said.

Microsoft bolsters marketplaces, CSP to boost co-sell

Microsoft investments in online marketplaces and the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program are looking to boost co-sell opportunities for Microsoft Azure partners and other channel allies.

Speaking at the recent Microsoft Inspire conference, Gavriella Schuster, corporate vice president of the One Commercial Partner team at Microsoft, said the company has launched a pilot for "transactional offers" on AppSource, a marketplace that targets line-of-business decision-makers. Microsoft, in general, has been working to position AppSource and Azure Marketplace, which targets IT professionals and developers, as "a new distribution channel" for partners.

In addition to its marketplace upgrades, Microsoft this year is moving the CSP licensing model to a modern commerce platform, she said.

The investments in marketplaces and CSP will enable more co-selling, according to Schuster. She said Microsoft has found co-selling closes deals three times faster and generates eight times higher Azure consumption. Microsoft rolled out its co-sell effort in 2017.

Alban Bramble, director of public cloud services at Ensono, a hybrid IT services provider based in Downers Grove, Ill., said conducting transactions through CSP is "a core component in our positioning of Ensono Azure Managed Services offerings." He said Ensono currently has two offers in the Azure Marketplace and is looking to add more due to "new enhancements with Azure Lighthouse."

Microsoft earlier this month announced Azure Lighthouse, a single control plane for viewing and managing Azure across clients. Ensono has been working to implement Azure Lighthouse, Bramble noted.

"We see the benefits of being able to have the unified view and access across our clients," he said.

Bramble said the ability to co-sell Azure services through the CSP model, where needed, provides tangible business and client engagement value.

"Ensono continues to co-sell with Microsoft field via Partner Sales Connect and our partner development team at Microsoft," he said.

Partner Sales Connect is an application that aims to facilitate collaboration between partners and Microsoft sales. Schuster said Microsoft has retooled Partner Sales Connect with APIs that let partners use their own customer relationship management systems to manage opportunities and leads. Bramble said Ensono isn't using those APIs at this time, but will be looking into using its internal CRM to synchronize with Partner Sales Connect.

In another Azure-related move, Microsoft launched the Azure Networking Managed Service Provider program, which the company said lets MSPs, network carriers and systems integrators offer cloud and hybrid networking services around Azure networking offerings.

Launch partners for the networking program include Aryaka, BT, Dimension Data, Equinix, InterCloud, Internet Initiative Japan, Megaport and Tata Communications.

Other Microsoft Inspire news

  • AvePoint and Ingram Micro took the wraps off a global relationship at Microsoft Inspire. Under the arrangement, Ingram Micro will list AvePoint's offerings in all of the distributor's Cloud Marketplaces. AvePoint provides products for migrating, managing and backing up data in Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Products provided through Ingram Micro's Cloud Marketplaces will be offered at discounted rates for MSPs qualifying under the company's Modern Workplace Accelerate program.
  • Blue Prism, a robotic process automation vendor, unveiled a free enterprise trial of its connected-RPA platform on Azure Marketplace. Blue Prism said the trial offer is geared toward quick-start deployments.
  • Integris Software, data privacy automation company based in Seattle, said it has achieved "Co-Sell Ready" recognition as Microsoft partner. This status will enable Integris' technology to be directly sold and marketed through Microsoft resellers, according to Integris.

Other news

  • Collabrance, a master MSP based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, introduced a new managed security service offering for MSPs. Collabrance said MSPs can private-label the service.
  • Cloud data management vendor Rubrik said it is expanding its Velocity Partner Program with a new partner specialization for providing advanced troubleshooting support. The Rubrik Authorized Support Partner Specialization is available for qualifying partners with level-one and level-two technical support capabilities, the vendor said.
  • Infocyte, a threat detection and incident response company based in Austin, Texas, is partnering with professional services firm Grant Thornton UK LLP. Under the arrangement, Grant Thornton will use Infocyte's technology to detect and respond to incidents across AWS cloud environments.
  • Cloud security company Armor named Matt Cook as its vice president of channel and alliances. Cook joined Armor from Commvault, where he served as vice president of service provider and geo sales segments. The appointment comes on the heels of an organizationwide shift to channel sales at Armor.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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