F5's Helfer On Partnering With AWS, Building Relationships With VMware And Cisco, And Making Cloud Economics Work For The Channel


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Reaping The Rewards

F5 Networks Senior Vice President of Worldwide Partners and Cloud Sales David Helfer is pressing the accelerator on the company's cloud offensive with a new incentive structure that rewards sales teams for working with channel partners migrating customer workloads between private, hybrid and public cloud environments.

F5 recently held its international sales conference, and the message was clear: Salespeople must work with the channel to sell subscription-based F5 software, as well as renewal and migration services in the years that follow.

Salespeople "can retire comp and quota in working with partners selling into the public cloud," Helfer said in an interview with CRN. "We want our partners to feel no matter where the workload is moving, we're going to help them do it.

"It's recurring revenue for our partners. They'll be able to be forward-looking one, two, three years out on subscription," he said. "The confidence they should have that F5 is working with them, not around them, is because we're not going to compete with them on that consulting service."

F5 has partnerships with major cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google and others, and recently became one of few vendors selected to join AWS Marketplace's new Channel Opportunity Registration Program.

What follows is an edited excerpt of Helfer's conversation with CRN.




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