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Cherwell Unveils Global Partner Program

By introducing sales tiers as well as other incentives, the ITSM company is looking to double its number of partners by the end of 2019, according to Matthew Peeples, VP of worldwide channel.

The rapidly growing IT service management company Cherwell has launched a global partner program that promises to give partners “the ability to control their destiny” with their automation product, said Matthew Peeples, the vice president of worldwide channel.

“The channel for Cherwell isn’t an afterthought,” he told CRN. “We started changing last year with ‘Hey, we should do more with channel.’ As we progress this year and launch this program, those who participate will feel a significant swing in their direction. We want to enable them to get to that top of the bundle and own the full sales cycle. Generate the market activity, find your own opportunities. We’ll support you and make you successful.”

The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based vendor’s premier product, Cherwell Service Management, is at the core of the company’s value proposition for partners, Peeples said. He said Cherwell Service Management provides a platform that can be extended and augmented as business needs evolve. Cherwell customers are extending workflow automation through Cherwell’s “unique codeless platform” into all areas of the enterprise, the company said. Partners can leverage Cherwell Service Management for businesses looking to maximize IT service management and establish a path for increasing digital maturity over time.

Peeples said in the past “we talked a lot about channel,” but said it was not a focus. However, since the company has committed to revamping indirect sales, Cherwell has already begun to see a turnaround.

“If you look at Q1 we’ve seen a significant uptick in revenue already,” he said. “I’ve been preparing and talking to our disty partners about changes in our plan, and that they needed to move from doing traditional sales and SPIFs, to carrying topline revenue. So globally our revenue represents a significant uptick in that.”

Cherwell plans to double the number of partners in its indirect channel as well, buttressing the force of 80 active and successful partners selling its product today, Peeples said.

“For us to be successful, we need to significantly grow our footprint and we see that in an indirect model thought these partners,” he said. “Most of the hiring and focus that I’ve done in January is bringing in recruitment minded channel resources.”

Peeples said the company is now recognizing and differentiating its stand-out performers with tiers, incenting their sales leaders with better margins. But he said the partner tiers are not the only way to earn more selling Cherwell.

“We also broke that up into multiple buckets,” he said. “If you do an opportunity registration and you are the partner that are the first at-bat to help us win in that opportunity, you get an opportunity registration discount that is above and beyond just the discount for being in whatever tier that you’re located in. If you are providing first or second level support, you get a discount. So it’s like Lego blocks. You can start bolting things together to say ‘Not only am I getting residual income, this reoccurring income, I can also Lego things together to let me stay closer to our customer.’ “

One of those partners thrilled by the announcement is Rob Ash, CEO of T4S, a Colorado-based MSP that is a Cherwell implementation provider.

“We’re pleased to see them put a little more structure around the program,” he told CRN. “I think for somebody like us who has a major commitment to them, it provides some benefits to us given the investment we have and the capacity we have to deliver. It’s early, so we’ll see where it goes, but we see some really good opportunities and collaboration in the market with them.”

He said with most of his Cherwell business based in services, he plans to work with them to build more services capacity and “help them drive licenses.”

“For us some of the advantages we have, we’ve managed to carve out a niche in the enterprise space and the service provider space,” he said. “Then really the ability to get close to their sales force and help them win deals. That’s been very attractive to us. It also fits well with other parts of our business.”

In addition to being a Cherwell partner, his company also works with organizations around cloud strategies, and application needs. He said Cherwell is debuting its program at a good time. He said as a former ServiceNow seller, he is starting to see some migration away from the white-hot platform, towards alternatives, which is feeding his Cherwell business.

“I think price is probably the biggest driver of that,” he said. “I think organizations are looking at the cost versus a comparable platform that provides them with the functions they need. We hear from some of the customers they don’t feel as close to the organization as they did five or six years ago when they weren’t so large.”

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