QLogic Hits Reset Button On Partner Program

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QLogic's bid to be the leader in the Fibre Channel and Ethernet space under new CEO Prasad Rampalli is being bolstered by a revamp of its Signature Partner Program. Aimed at making the channel program easier to navigate, the changes include a move from four tiers to three and a lowering of revenue thresholds.

The changes are expected to help QLogic channel partners graduate to new levels at a faster clip, said Chris Lorenz, director of partners and alliances at the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based company.

"It had been a few years since we had kind of looked at the structure of the program to make sure it aligns with some of the trends we're seeing and [with] feedback from partners. [Now it is structured] in such a way that it [is] easier to understand and allows them to move up to one level more quickly," Lorenz told CRN.

Some tiers in the old program had specific requirements around product categories, such as a revenue requirement for the Fibre Channel switch business, which Lorenz said made it difficult for partners to understand where they stood.

[Related: 2014 Partner Programs Guide: 5-Star Storage Vendors]

The new program starts at Preferred, which has no revenue requirement. The next level, Premier, requires $100,000 in revenue over the course of a year in North America. The top level, Elite, requires $500,000 over the course of a year.

That compares with the old model in which the Silver tier had no revenue requirement, Gold required $225,000 and Platinum required $800,000.

"Four tiers were too many to begin with so narrowing that focus and those targets makes it easier to follow and make sense of it," said Jason Cherveny, president and CEO of Denver-based solution provider Sanity Solutions.

The previously existing fourth tier that was part of the old partner program was spun off into what's expected to be the first of many Enhanced Authorizations, or badges, available to all partners. The first of those badges is called Advanced Solutions Partner and is centered on the company's FabricCache business.

"We see other areas of specialization where we may have additional badges," Lorenz said.

Sanity Solutions previously held the highest designation in QLogic's Signature Partner Program -- Advanced Solutions Partner -- and now holds an Enhanced Authorization badge, said Cherveny.

NEXT: Brocade, Broadcom Deals Could Bring More Partners Into The Fold

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