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Splunk Launches Partner Program Revamp With Emphasis On Cloud Competencies

The rebranding “Splunk Partnerverse” includes a new partner showcase and a line of certification badges – all intended to help partners communicate to customers about their Splunk-focused solutions, services and expertise.

Splunk is launching a significant update to its partner program today, including rebranding the program as the “Splunk Partnerverse” and expanding the enablement resources and certifications offered to help partners improve and showcase their cloud computing skills.

The program improvements also include a new online Partner Solutions Catalog that will showcase the capabilities, solutions and customer success stories of Splunk’s 2,200-plus channel partners.

The announcements are being made during the Splunk .conf21 annual customer and partner conference being held virtually this week. Earlier this year Splunk considered holding Splunk .conf21 live in Las Vegas, but the company announced Sept. 17 that – as in 2020 – the conference would be an all-virtual event given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

[Related: 5 Things To Know About Silver Lake’s $1B Investment In Splunk ]

The latest channel initiatives come as Splunk continues its shift from selling on-premises software with traditional license pricing to cloud-based software sold on a subscription basis. The move has been a significant transformation for the company and its partners.

For its fiscal 2022 second quarter (ended July 31) Splunk reported that cloud revenue reached $217 million, about 36 percent of total revenue.

Splunk is a leading developer of software used to collect, index, search and analyze machine-generated data from websites, applications, sensors and devices. The company’s software is utilized for a broad range of tasks including managing IT systems, DevOps and security.

Teresa Carlson, who joined Splunk in April as president and chief growth officer, said in an interview with CRN that driving a deeper focus on partners within the company is one of her chief goals.

“Partners are really a force-multiplier for your business,” Carlson said. “They find things to do with your technology that you never thought of. I’m really pleased with the partner community that we have at Splunk. We need to force-multiply what we’re doing out there to make sure that we can take advantage even more deeply how we work with our partners.”

To that end she said making sure that partners have the training, certifications, tools and resources they need to make that cloud transformation is key.

“We want to continue to be customer-obsessed. We’ve got to listen to the customers. And partners will be key to listening and understanding what customers need,” Carlson said.

Today Splunk has about 2,200 partners including global and regional systems integrators, MSPs, VARs, OEMs, ISVs, distributors and data management consultants.

Many of those partners have been transforming themselves by adopting service provider business models and building up their cloud skills to meet customer demands for cloud migration and hybrid-cloud capabilities, said Brooke Cunningham (pictured), Splunk area vice president, global partner marketing and experience, in an interview with CRN.

“We’re seeing a lot of partners shift their business models. Many of them are supporting large customers that are going to be taking quite some time to make a full migration from on-premises. Most partners have started – over the last two years – to really evolve their businesses to meet customers where their needs are.”

Splunk and global systems integrator Accenture announced Tuesday that the two have formed a joint business group that expands their existing collaboration by leveraging the Splunk platform and Accenture’s technical and industry expertise to help customers use real-time data to improve the performance of IT operations, supply chains and security processes.

At Splunk .conf21 Splunk will be spotlighting BlueVoyant, a New York-based MSP partner that provides cybersecurity services built on the Splunk platform and recently moved from the vendor’s on-premises products to Splunk Cloud.

The new Splunk Partnerverse Program brand, which replaces the previous Splunk Partner+ name, is intended to emphasize the program’s new offerings and its focus on cloud computing services and business models.

“We wanted to offer a program that was really oriented around partners building around Splunk Cloud, as well as for a cloud world,” Cunningham said. “We really needed to re-imagine or re-architect the program [and] expand where we’re going with partners. This represents some very different thinking of the program from where it was previously.”

The updated program not only addresses different partner types but puts additional focus on the sales and services motions partners follow such as developing and implementing Splunk-based solutions, hosting Splunk software or providing consulting services, Cunningham said. New program offerings are in response to partner feedback seeking more training, tools and enablement resources to better support customers and ways for partners to differentiate themselves in the market.

With the goal of highlighting partner solutions and competencies across industries and use cases, Splunk is launching a new badging system to help customers identify partners with expertise in specific areas. The first three offered badges will cover cloud migration, zero trust services and authorized learning – the latter for partners who are authorized to train customers and other partners on the use of Splunk software.

Splunk has been piloting the authorized learning badge with partner ClearShark, a Hanover, Md.-based provider of IT solutions and professional services in cybersecurity, big data, data center and cloud infrastructure, and enterprise storage.

“This is a fresh, simple and valuable approach that builds on our successes and evolves our joint potential,” said Roger Niles, ClearShark vice president of sales, in a statement. “We are excited by this program, which allows us to showcase our expertise in the cloud with the new badging system and creates differentiation of our offerings to our customers.”

In the future badges will also be offered for observability, security, managed services and systems integration capabilities. Partners will have to fulfill a range of requirements and validate their skills and technical expertise to qualify.

“This will really allow them to showcase their capabilities and credentials and differentiate themselves,” Cunningham said of the new badges.

Parts of the Splunk Partnerverse Program framework, including the first three badges, can be accessed by active partners right away with the entire program broadly available in February 2022, according to Splunk.

The new Partner Solutions Catalog on Splunk.com is designed to help partners showcase their Splunk-based solutions, services and capabilities to prospective customers. The site also will provide partner success stories in specific use cases to demonstrate the value they can deliver to customers, Cunningham said.

Splunk also used this year’s .conf21 event to debut a number of enhancements to its product portfolio, including for Splunk Security Cloud and Splunk SOAR, which provide businesses and organizations with a comprehensive Security Operations Platform for visibility into their security detection, investigation and response operations.

The company has put a great of focus on its portfolio of observability software in the last year after the company launched the Splunk Observability Suite last year at Splunk .conf20.

Splunk announced a number of advanced enhancements to the software tools in that suite including Splunk Application Performance Monitoring (APM), Splunk Infrastructure Monitoring, Splunk Real User Monitoring (RUM), Splunk Synthetic Monitoring, Splunk Log Observer and Splunk IT Service Intelligence. The company also previewed Database Visibility for Splunk APM and Splunk Infrastructure Monitoring AutoDetect and announced the general availability of Splunk Observability Cloud for Mobile and Splunk RUM for Mobile Applications.

Splunk also announced a number of enhancements to the company’s flagship Splunk Enterprise and Splunk Cloud Platform products – all currently for preview. The new Data Manager in Splunk Cloud Platform simplifies and automates onboarding cloud-native data from AWS and Microsoft 365 with plans to soon add Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform data sources. Also new is the Ingest Actions capability to redact, filter and route in-motion data to Splunk or external AWS S3 storage. And the new Flex Index feature provides a way to cost-effectively ingest, search and store lower-value data with long retention periods for archival and compliance purposes.

Federated Search, which provides a unified search experience across all deployment types, and Splunk Operator for Kubernetes, which allows administrators and developers to install and manage Splunk on their selected cloud environment, are both generally available today.

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