Virtual Instruments Overhauls Partner Program, Increases Channel Discounts By 10 Percent


Virtual Instruments is significantly boosting partner profitability through a revamped Partner Program that includes a 10 percent increase on front-end rebates, as well as an additional 10 percent discount for partner-derived deals.

"This is a significantly richer program for partners," said Paul Brodie, vice president of global OEM and channel sales at Virtual Instruments, in an interview with CRN. "We had a partner program, but it was not utilized. It was not focused on the right priorities for our partners. So we did a pretty heavy refresh."

The San Jose, Calif.-based application-centric infrastructure performance management specialist launched its new edition of Virtual Instruments Partner (VIP) Program on Tuesday which now includes a "better defined" deal registration program, according to Brodie. He said moving forward, 100 percent of the company's business will be registered unlike in the past.

[Related: Virtual Instruments CEO On New Application-Centric Strategy, Specter and Meltdown Impact, And Partner Program Revamp In 2018]

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Channel partners who register a net new customer will now receive up to a 10-percent discount on the deal. The vendor is also increasing front-end baseline discounts by an additional 10 points for sales around software, analytics and hardware, said Brodie.

"A significant thing we did was we want to reward partners for net new business, what we call partner originated opportunities. So if a partner brings us an opportunity and we take that opportunity to closure, it will translate to significant profitability for the partner," said Brodie. "This is a catalyst for growth for partners out there and a top line and bottom line revenue opportunity for them."

The program still contains three levels, although the names and discount levels have changed. The levels are now: VIP, Gold, and the top status, Platinum.

Other enhancements to VIP include a more streamlined onboarding process, access to joint marketing development funds for Gold- and Platinum-level partners, and the VIP Partner Portal which offers online training, lead and opportunity registration and marketing materials, to name a few.

The revamped VIP program rewards partners based on customer engagement rather than compliance with training, certifications and revenue thresholds.

Liz Anthony, senior vice president of marketing for ViON, a Herndon, Va.-based solution provider, said the revamped program would make partners more profitable and add better predictability to the channel.

"Most partnerships you have to have a minimum revenue and a number of certifications to be at a level. They're trying to change the game here," said Anthony. "They want to focus on strategic partners. What they're really looking at is, 'What is most important to the partner?' That's margin and an increase in profitability. That's just what they did."

"Overall, they're just trying to be very innovative and looking at a new relationship for the channel," Anthony added.

Unlike traditional programs, partner progression in the new VIP is based around finding new customer opportunities, according to Brodie.

"Our call to arms for partners is to branch out, get out of their comfort zone as far as traditional infrastructure sales are concerned because that's becoming more and more difficult. This is a differentiated solution that carries the opportunity to sell partner-led services," said Brodie.

The privately-held company plans to increase sales in 2018 by 25 percent year-over-year through its new application-centric VirtualWisdom platform launched late last year. Virtual Instruments was founded in 2008 and merged with storage performance startup Load DynamiX in 2016. The company currently has more than 500 customers.