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The updated Arcserve Channel Partner Program features three membership tiers: Platinum, Gold and Silver. Benefits include top-line and bottom-line incentives and programs; lead generation assistance via marketing assets, co-branded emails, and a demand generation program; enhanced sales, training, and marketing support; and technical and sales accreditation from pre- and post-sales through distribution.
According to Stephanie Nalick, senior director of North American sales, incentives include a tiered deal registration program as well as a renewal protection program for incumbent partners. In June, the vendor will be introducing a rewards program aimed at partner reps, she said.
Relaunching the Arcserve partner program allowed the vendor "to start with a clean slate since they have become their own company away from CA," said Todd O'Bert, CEO and president of Productive Corp., a Minneapolis-based storage and security software value-added reseller (VAR) that serves small and medium-sized businesses.
Productive has partnered with Arcserve since 2003 and has Platinum-level status. He said that, for Productive, the highlights of the new program include the incumbent renewal protection, priority technical support and marketing support for Arcserve's top partners.
Ernie Balabanis of RDT Solutions, a solution provider based in Hollis, N.H., focused on storage and backup products, also cited the incumbent renewal protection as one of the highlights. "That's always been a big problem: You do the work to get the customer on the initial sale, and then the next year you have no price protections, so you're really nickel-and-diming your margins to try and keep the customer away from other resellers."
As guidance for the redesign, Arcserve surveyed its VAR and corporate reseller partners to find out what they valued in a channel program, said Christophe Bertrand, Arcserve's vice president of product marketing. For VARs, the most important program elements included deal registration, technical and sales training accreditation, and leads, while the least important elements were marketing materials, volume incentive rebates, and partner portal automation.
"[Arcserve] asked a lot of partners in the community, 'What are you looking for in a program?' And they incorporated a bunch of our suggestions and are basically committing more to partners that are committing more to them, which is something that we'd asked for," O'Bert said.
Arcserve has fully dedicated itself to a 100%-channel model and will not compete with any of its partners, Bertrand said. To this point, the vendor has set out five formal rules of engagement:
- All opportunities will be treated as indirect and must be sold through the channel.
- Respect partner incumbency, and then allow customer preference for other partners.
- Inform partners quickly of potential opportunities and engage early in the sales cycle.
- Always have the channel partner deliver the quote to the end customer.
- Maintain confidentiality regarding each partner's accounts, opportunities, margins and pricing.
Balabanis said the opportunity with Arcserve has improved now that the vendor is a standalone company. "Now that they've spun off, there are a lot less layers of redundant management to go through to get approvals and to get common-sense things done, and so I think it's only going to help that they're not part of some giant machine that doesn't only concentrate on backup and disaster recovery," he said.
O'Bert is also optimistic about the future of Productive's partnership with Arcserve. "I think there's tremendous opportunity [with Arcserve], especially with the release of UDP. Now it's really bringing [Arcserve's] solution under their single interface, single pane of glass, if you will. And that's really helping to extend and build that conversation [with customers]," he said. "And with the release of the appliance version [of UDP], it has been able to give us additional opportunities."
The redesigned Arcserve partner program will roll out initially in North America and will expand to other geographies throughout the year.
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