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Some partners had equally rigorous requirements under the older programs, Sotnick said, while others will have to step up to the new program's requirements.
That's OK with Cenci at ePlus. The new program will better recognize partners who go beyond fulfillment, he said, and help differentiate them from competitors who provide less value around Quest products. "And I think they're getting much better on deal registration," he added.
Registered partners have minimal requirements and their partner agreements are through distributors. They have no program fees.
Partners receive a range of benefits, in addition to margins commensurate with each tier. Premier partners have access to a shared "champion" inside Quest, for example, while Elite partners have a dedicated representative.
"We offer a tremendous amount of marketing support," said Christine McDermott, senior director of partner marketing, in an interview, saying that in the last 18 months the company has "quadrupled" the amount of market development funds it offers partners.
Sotnick said the new program's success would be measured by increased partner sales to new and existing customers, as well as increasing the amount of partner cross-selling across Quest's broad product line. Quest also will leverage the program to recruit new partners, particularly in some regions such as Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Dimension Data's Wheadon sees the channel program overhaul as an opportunity for the company to better engage partners with the broad Quest product line. He added that Quest's top executives have always been easy to work with, and he predicted that if the company brings that same philosophy to the partner program, it would be a success.
Partners who provide services around Quest products, but don't resell them, will be managed by Quest's services organization, Sotnick said.