Blue Coat Boosts Partner Program Perks

acquire Packeteer

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based WAN application delivery vendor on Monday said it hopes the enhancements spur market awareness and ease the sale of its WAN optimization and secure Web gateway gear.

Jim Harold, Blue Coat's vice president of worldwide channel sales, said the changes represent the top things its partners said they can improve upon to help their businesses.

First, Blue Coat will offer a larger discount on demo and evaluation units, Harold said. The BlueBox Evaluation Program can save VARs up to 60 persent on evaluation units, in some cases, which Harold said is a significant improvement on the vendor's old demo program. The added discount, Harold said, can help the sales process and save VARs from having to shell out more out of pocket.

Next, Blue Coat has revamped its discounting and deal registration in a move to boost partner competitiveness. The vendor has changed its partner pricing to offer balanced discounts globally and has opened up the benefits of deal registration to all partners, regardless of their level. Harold said the new discounting model will help VARs with multi-national presence receive consistent pricing regardless of location. And the deal registration updates can protect partners, Harold said.

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"If you register a deal, you're locking in up to about 12 percent additional discount," he said.

Blue Coat has also added a new support provider program, the BlueTouch Support Partner Program, which lets VARs achieve greater profitability while providing services to their customers. Essentially, the BlueTouch program lets Blue Coat-certified organizations market, sell and deliver their own branded service offerings backed by Blue Coat support.

BlueTouch Certified Partners can offer first- and second-line tech support to their customers and receive incremental price reductions and rebates on Blue Coat services, Harold said. The BlueTouch program is open to premier and elite partners by invitation only.

"They can sell their own braded service offerings and discount it as if they were selling ours," Harold said, adding that with the boosted discount and margin VARs offering the services could make another 30 to 40 percent gross margin on top of what they bring in through the services themselves.

Other new enhancements include new sales engineer training and certification and new sales and marketing tools and support.

The new training and certification features a new course just for sales engineers to help them better assist in pre- and post-sales deployments. On the sales and marketing tools and support side, Blue Coat is initiating a Virtual Marketing Agency which gives partners access to a turnkey marketing solution at no cost so they can implement partner-branded, customized Blue Coat campaigns. Additionally, Blue Coat has created new sales and marketing tools to educate partners about Blue Coat solutions, and select tools will be offered in localized languages, Harold said.

The program enhancements come just a month after Blue Coat announced it would acquire WAN optimization vendor Packeteer. The deal is expected to close in the next few weeks. On Monday, Blue Coat's $268 million offer for Packeteer received antitrust clearance from the government.

JoAnne Vedati, director of worldwide channel marketing for Blue Coat said once the Packeteer acquisition is finalized, the program and its enhancements will be open to Packeteer partners.

"We're really looking forward to embracing the new partner base," she said.

Blue Coat partners are also excited about the enhancements. According to Dan Wilson, vice president of vendor relations for Denver-based solution provider Accuvant the new program will let Accuvant have better trained technical sales engineers and a stronger sales team, as well as opening new opportunities to market awareness. Wilson said Blue Coat is taking to heart the needs of partners with the new programs and can ultimately enhance the ability to increase profitability and provide solutions to its global clients.

Jonas Thulin, vice president of business development with Dimension Data, agreed.

"We are especially enthusiastic about the BlueBox Evaluation Program that will give us and our clients improved, early access to the latest Blue Coat technology for proof-of-concept and customized designs," Thulin said in a statement. "In addition, the updated BlueTouch Partner Program matches our vision of providing our clients with full lifecycle services from design to ongoing support and maintenance."