Barracuda Networks Revamps Partner Levels, Adds MSP Program

Barracuda Networks is shaking up its partner program, the storage and security vendor said Tuesday morning, adding a new level and a new MSP program.

The changes take the company's three-tiered program to four tiers: premier, preferred, authorized and registered. Most partners will stay in the same level, with just over 100 solution provider partners moving up into the newly added premier tier. Partners in good standing will be automatically enrolled in the appropriate tier.

Chris Meyer, director of channel development, said Barracuda had "outgrown" the previous program, with large gaps between top-performing partners and those at the lower levels. The changes are designed to diversify its ecosystem financially and better tailor resources at each of the levels, he said.

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For partners of all levels, Barracuda announced it would extend deal registration to all product lines, including the previously excluded 4x solutions. The company has also boosted discounts for Not For Resale offerings, extended enablement and marketing around a revamped Partner Portal and training.

In addition to revamping the levels, Barracuda added an MSP program, by request of its managed service provider partners. The program will allow MSPs to purchase Barracuda Backup and Barracuda NG Firewall assets on behalf of their end customers.

The addition is tailored toward Barracuda partners that act both as a solution provider and as a managed service provider, said Brian Babineau, Barracuda vice president of product and channel marketing. By joining both partner programs, a partner could navigate its own business transition and balance customers looking for a solution provider partner with those looking for managed services, he said.

"The goal with this is to make sure we're staying on top of the IT marketplace trends, but also keeping true to our Barracuda roots of simplicity, so partners are still working with the Barracuda they know and love," Babineau said.

The launch comes a little more than a year after the Campbell, Calif.-based company went public, saying at the time that it was looking to push closer to 100 percent of sales through the channel.

Steve Katsman, CIO and senior vice president at Philadelphia, Penn.-based Micro Technology Group, has been a Barracuda partner for close to 10 years. He said the changes will help recognize partners who have made a big commitment from a training and sales standpoint. Micro Technology Group used to be part of the vendor's Diamond level and will now be part of its Premier level under the new program.

"What I see them doing with this is just fine-tuning the partner program," Katsman said. "It wasn't a huge change, just an evolution."

Katsman said he is evaluating the MSP program for his business, as well.

"I think it's a benefit and if you have the right customers that would want that kind of offering that would make sense for everything. If they roll that out, we will be at the forefront," Katsman said.