Nvidia Expands Partner Program With New Incentives, Training

The GPU juggernaut is expanding its Nvidia Partner Network with new resources and benefits, including a new fixed back-end rebate program and dedicated market development funds for top partners. ‘This shows that Nvidia is making an investment in the enterprise partners,’ Nvidia channel chief Alvin DaCosta says.


Nvidia has expanded its channel program with new incentives, industry-specific training, better methods for tracking sales and deals, and more ways for top-performing partners to get recognized.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company unveiled the expanded Nvidia Partner Network benefits and resources Monday as the channel program crossed the 1,500-member mark internationally. And the company is already teasing future expansions, including a new program for partners selling cloud services that the chipmaker plans to introduce by the first quarter of next year.

[Related: These Are The Top 10 Nvidia Partners Driving AI Adoption]

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“One of the areas we’re looking to enhance and we’re working on right now is our cloud service provider program,” said Alvin DaCosta, vice president of Nvidia’s global partner organization, in an interview with CRN. “We’re looking to work with those type of partners in the future to start developing customized GPU utilization within [cloud vendors like] Amazon [Web Services] and Google.”

DaCosta said Nvidia also plans to integrate the partner programs for Mellanox Technologies and Cumulus Networks, the two companies it acquired this year, into the Nvidia Partner Network next year.

Among the changes in the Nvidia Partner Network are new and expanded incentives meant to make it easier for partners to get recognized for their sales activity and investments in the Nvidia ecosystem. This includes a new fixed back-end rebate for Elite-level compute and visualization partners, who will receive a 1 percent rebate on their Nvidia-based revenue.

“This shows that Nvidia is making an investment in the enterprise partners because we know that our partners are making investments in [not-for-resale] gear, they’re hiring data scientists, they’re building practices,” he said. “So what that fixed rebate is, it’s whatever revenue they do, we give them 1 percent back in rebate to help offload some of those costs.”

For Elite-level providers and integrators across most competencies, Nvidia is also providing a new dedicated reserve of market development funds that are based on quarterly partner revenue, expanding beyond the project-based MDF the company already provides.

“Let’s say, for example, if a partner did $500,000 in [the first quarter]. Then in [the second quarter] they would get $5,000 worth of MDF,” DaCosta said.

For Nvidia’s top DGX systems sellers, the company has expanded its AI Champions Club, which gives those partners access to product teams, among other things.

Nvidia has also enacted a change that will make it easier for its broader base of partners to have their revenue contributions recognized throughout the year. With its enhanced quarterly performance bonus program, the company now sets an annual goal that means partners won’t be penalized if they have one bad quarter due to the seasonality of their business.

“It gives the partner the ability to make money regardless of their seasonality at the end of the year,” DaCosta said.

In addition to the new and improved incentives, the Nvidia Partner Network has expanded in other ways. This includes a new AI Consulting Network, which gives partners access to other partners who have built large practices around artificial intelligence and data science. The company has also expanded the categories with new partner types for federal government systems integrators and storage solution providers.

On the training side, Nvidia has introduced several new training courses for the company’s expanded portfolio of products, including the new A100 data center GPU, as well as a variety of industries, including health care, higher education, financial services and retail. The company plans to expand this industry-focused purview with courses for energy and telecommunications next year.

To help partners navigate the expanded course offerings, the company has introduced a new tool called NPN Learning Maps, which provides partners with a learning matrix based on their industry and role.

“The challenge we’ve heard from partners is that when they logged into our partner portal, they didn’t know where to start because there’s been so many classes that are listed,” DaCosta said. “So what we did is we started building Learning Maps to make it easier for the partner to understand exactly what classes to take.”

Nvidia’s partner portal has been enhanced in other ways, with one of the biggest changes being a Salesforce integration that gives partners better visibility into historical revenue, rebate history, deal registration and training activity. The company also now provides partners with resources to build industry-specific marketing campaigns.

Tim Brooks, managing director at top Nvidia partner World Wide Technology, said the expanded benefits and resources of the Nvidia Partner Network puts WWT in a better position because the St. Louis-based company has been aggressively investing in the vendor and in AI services.

“They have essentially curated an ecosystem for people to come together and build solutions, as opposed to each one of us trying to go about doing something independently and leave it to the customers to cobble together from multiple vendors,” he said.

Brooks said WWT has seen demand for Nvidia’s GPUs for natural language processing and genomics, among other kinds of research-heavy workloads. The company has also seen a diversity in the types of organizations that need GPU solutions for AI, ranging from universities and research institutes to large financial services providers. In addition, the company is exploring opportunities with customers who want to deploy GPU systems at the edge for things like mask detection to reduce virus risk.

With the expanded incentives, Brooks said, WWT can explore even more opportunities with Nvidia.

“To the extent that this helps Word Wide, extending both the opportunities [for us] to use Nvidia GPU infrastructure as well as educate customers about what AI solutions can do in their industry, that is all good and that’s what our customers and end users expect,” he said.