CRN Exclusive: Gemalto Launches New Partner Program As Part Of Revamped Channel Strategy


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Gemalto is putting the final piece in its partner evolution over the past year, announcing on Tuesday the launch of its revamped partner program.

The new Gemalto Cipher Partner Program focuses on three areas: enablement tools, rewarding partners for net new activities, and providing a variety of procurement options for partners.

The program has four tiers: silver, gold, platinum and global VAR, which is a new addition). Vice President of Global Channel Sales Strategy and Programs Colleen McMillan said the goal is to create "more of an ecosystem" for partners with the new program, with multiple ways to get rewarded for working with Gemalto, including the addition of managed services, influencer, and OEM partnership options to traditional resale.  

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"It’s really about aligning to how a customer might buy Gemalto technology," McMillan said. "It provides flexibility to customers to consuming it in different ways and to partners because they can move between the different routes to market according to where their core business is."

The new program also includes a new margin structure that focuses on rewarding partners for deal registration and protection, rather than a flat margin percentage. McMillan said this new structure will still give partners strong margins but will provide more margin reward to partners who provide more value throughout the sales cycle. Partners will have a six-month grace period to get up to speed with the new program, including new requirements around sales and technical training, McMillan said. 

In January, Gemalto will re-level partners and the program will officially take effect in February 2018, she said.

McMillan said partners liked the vendor's high margins and technology but were "loud and clear" about wanting the company to be easier to work with.

Over the past year, McMillan said she has worked with partners to make those changes, including inviting them to the company's sales kick off, hosting multiple training launches for sales and technical professionals, providing new marketing materials, and revamping the company's partner portal. "Working together and winning together is our motto for mutual success. If [partners are] successful, we're successful," McMillan said. "It's not just talk. There are actual, substantial deliverables behind what we're doing to show partners that we're serious about this."

Jolene Johnson, owner of Knoxville, Tenn.-based Absolute Access ID, said when she first partnered with Gemalto in 2013 there was very little or no information available to partners. She said she had seen a significant shift over the past year regarding its approach to the channel, including its partner portal, training, and sales support. Johnson said she has "absolutely seen an increase in business because of it."

"Over the past year they have totally transitioned," Johnson said. "The information they have been providing has been worth its weight in gold."

In an email to CRN, Optiv Security Vice President of Partner Management Andy Welsh said he has also seen the same shift. “During the past year, they have introduced many resources for partners and really made it easy for us to work with them. We look forward to the benefits and increased profitability components of their new program," Welsh said.

Gemalto offers a portfolio of data security solutions that include encryption, key storage and management, and user access. McMillan said she has seen interest from partners and customers grow as companies realize that they need more prevention around data, instead of solely relying on perimeter protections. "It's really your data you need to protect. We're seeing more and more companies become aware of that," McMillan said. 

McMillan said education remains key, as she said complacency and lack of awareness remain the company's biggest barrier to sales. With the new program as the foundation, McMillan said Gemalto would work for "continuous improvement" when it comes to its partner program. 

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