CRN Exclusive: Mimecast Unveils Partner Program With Tiers, Deal Registration, More Discounts

Mimecast has introduced its first-ever global partner program focused on deepening ties with the company's most committed solution providers through tiering and deal registration.

The Lexington, Mass.-based email security vendor said the global program will replace separate efforts in each of the company's geographies and double discounts for Mimecast's roughly 400 North American channel partners, according to Julian Martin, vice president of global channel and operations.

"The only way we can continue our growth is by embracing our channel partners," Martin told CRN exclusively.

[Related: Mimecast Looks To Push All SMB Sales Through Channel, Readies New Program Launch ]

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Mimecast will evolve from a single-level approach in North America to a four-tier model, with the tiers being called (from low to high) Business, Certified, Premier and Elite, Martin said. The company will examine revenue contribution as well as sales, marketing and technical engagement when determining which tier a partner belongs in, according to Martin.

The Business tier is intended for partners just entering the Mimecast ecosystem, Martin said, and doesn’t require any commitment. Conversely, Elite-level partners are expected to have personnel dedicated full time to Mimecast as well as deep technical and sales knowledge, Martin said, and will have their marketing plan reviewed by the vendor on a quarterly basis.

Tiering decisions will not be based purely on revenue, Martin said, since Mimecast greatly values partners with advanced professional services capabilities. Specifically, Martin said Mimecast is interested in solution providers that can bolt on disparate products through API integration such as Demisto for security automation.

The deal registration program will reward solution providers that bring on net-new logos, Martin said, with more perks available for partners at higher tiers. The enhanced incentives should provide Mimecast with more visibility into the end customer relationships the solution provider holds, Martin said, as well as the sales pipeline the partner is currently building.

Although discounts are based on individual business plans, Martin said most partners at all levels will see a doubling in discounts. The increase in standard discounts should enhance Mimecast's already-stellar revenue retention rate, Martin said, ensuring partners are able to keep the customers they fought hard to win.

From an enablement perspective, Martin said Mimecast will be tracking new business generation, deal registrations and deal contributions to assess the effectiveness of the new partner program. The company also plans to monitor the number of partners who've obtained sales training, sales engineer training, or technical support and on-boarding training since the program began.

Mimecast sells exclusively through the channel abroad, Martin said, with North America being the only region where the company does some direct business due to the preference of certain customers. The company has been educating its direct-touch sales staff to offer the opportunity to work with a partner at every step of the engagement from support services to API integration, according to Martin.

The company has also tasked its partner account managers to work with the channel on new business creation and enable solution providers from a marketing perspective, Martin said.

Mimecast's new global partner program is targeted at the company's traditional channels, including resellers and VARs, Martin said. But many of these solution providers are looking to shift their business from relying on licenses to generate revenue to wrapping long-term managed services around products such as Office 365, according to Martin.

The company therefore plans to introduce a new program later this year for pure-play MSPs to provide them with more support and services, Martin said, making it easier for them to add real value for their end customers. Mimecast's big push into the MSP community should happen toward the end of the year, according to Martin.

Aqueduct Technologies is pleased to see the new program offers incentives to partners that are committed to the market, email security and email marketing, according to Jack Kaiser, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Waltham, Mass.-based Mimecast partner, No. 392 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500.

Kaiser is pleased that, as part of the program, Mimecast will do joint events with Aqueduct and aid with campaigns to help understand what Aqueduct's customers are using today for email archiving and email security. In addition, Kaiser is happy that top Mimecast partners such as Aqueduct will have more protection from a deal registration standpoint so that they won't experience margin compression.

"It's rewarding partners that are investing in the program and are investing in certifications," Kaiser told CRN.

From a sales perspective, Kaiser said the new program should provide more collateral and engagement to help Aqueduct convince customers to invest in robust email protection that goes beyond Office 365. Increased engagement from Mimecast's marketing and sales teams should make it easier for Aqueduct to sell email archiving and other higher-level bundles that provide clients with more protection, he said.

"For partners like Aqueduct that are committed to Mimecast, there's a reward," Kaiser said. "And that's a good thing."