The revamped Champion Partner Program also ushers in an enhanced MDF program, set to go live April 1, which eliminates the need for partners to hit a specific revenue requirement to qualify for MDF. This, according to ShoreTel, is meant to help smaller partners tap into MDF opportunities.
In addition, ShoreTel is condensing multiple revenue or booking thresholds within each partner level, which historically have corresponded to a unique MDF accrual or reimbursement rate. Starting April 1, there will be one accrual rate and one reimbursement rate per partner level, with those rates increasing as the levels increase.
ShoreTel is also now requiring partners to get pre-approval before they move forward with MDF spending to eliminate MDF claims being rejected down the line and to ensure partners receive reimbursement.
The last major change to the new Champion Partner Program is that ShoreTel is moving its support, or services, pricing from "buy price" to a discount structure, to align with all other ShoreTel product pricing. "It was just two different ways of reaching a buy price, and now we have a consistent way," ShoreTel's Petts said.
ShoreTel is also rolling out a new partner certification, called the solution architect certification, which is focused on pre-sales.
Verteks' Gulling, a ShoreTel partner for seven years, said he has been with the company through a number of partner program changes. This round of changes, he said, has been the smoothest yet.
"This time, with David Petts at the helm, they gave us much more advanced notice and much more communication," Gulling said. "From a channel perspective, if you are going to manage a change, I think they did it as best as you possibly can."
PUBLISHED DEC. 5, 2013