Packeteer Adds New Service Tier To Partner Program

With the changes, the vendor is taking steps to protect against margin erosion for partners that invest in their Packeteer partnerships and provide consultative services to their customers, said Bob Beler, president of Information Systems Group (ISG), a Rolling Meadows, Ill.-based solution provider.

“Now, odds are that people bidding against ISG will not be at the same discount level as ISG, and we&'ll have a better price,” Beler said.

Packeteer, a 100 percent channel company, is adding a new top-level designation dubbed Service and Solutions Partner for VARs that pledge to maintain higher training and certification requirements, have strong professional services practices and commit to hit $1 million in annual Packeteer revenue, said John Fomook, director of worldwide marketing at Packeteer, Cupertino, Calif.

Fomook estimates that fewer than 20 of the vendor&'s 200 North American partners will qualify for the new designation, which offers higher discounts to partners capable of servicing national enterprise accounts with full network assessments and other service offerings, he said.

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“Customers deploying dozens of PacketShapers at multiple locations have more complex service needs,” Fomook said.

Packeteer&'s partner program will continue to include existing Authorized Partner and Solutions Partner designations.

In addition to the new partner tier, Packeteer also is modifying its popular Named Project Registration (NPR) program, through which solution providers register new sales opportunities in exchange for heavier discounts.

Now, with the modifications, just the originating partner is eligible to receive not only the deal registration discount, but also the extra training and certification-based discounts offered to partners who go beyond the basic requirements of their partner designations, Fomook said.

The net effect is that the extra discounts only kick in for registered deals, which should create a wider margin gap between the originating partner and the rest of the partner field, Fomook said.

Fomook declined to provide specifics on partner margins but said participation in NPR can double solution providers&' discount levels.