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Akamai Unveils New Partner Program To Drive Service Delivery

Solution providers who are certified to deliver advanced services around Akamai can earn margins of up to 40 percent, while demand gen partners will be eligible for margins of between 15 percent and 20 percent.

Akamai has introduced a new partner program that promises to more than double margins for solution providers who deliver design and implementation services to customers.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based intelligence edge platform provider said its previous program delineated solution providers based only on revenue and certifications, meaning that demand gen or fulfillment partners were often eligible for the same margins as service delivery partners, according to Micheal McCollough, global vice president, channels and alliances.

But in the new Akamai Partner Program, McCollough said solution providers who are certified to deliver advanced services can earn margins of up to 40 percent. That’s in stark contrast to demand gen partners, who McCollough said will be eligible for margins of between 15 percent and 20 percent in the new program.

[Related: Akamai To Buy Cybersecurity Vendor Janrain To Get Identity Access Skills]

“Akamai is becoming a really channel-friendly company,” McCollough told CRN exclusively. “The channel is really critical to our go-to-market model, and we want to set both parties up for success.”

Roughly 50 of Akamai’s 290 global partners have gotten an advanced certification around at least one of the company’s offerings since it launched in October, McCollough said. Most of the company’s advanced solution providers have a SOC (Security Operations Center) or a NOC (Network Operations Center), can deliver VPN and network security services, and have experience migrating customers to the cloud.

Enterprise and cloud security have been key focus areas for solution providers looking to develop advanced capabilities so that they’re able to provide fine-tuning, upgrades and mitigation around Akamai’s web security and web application firewall (WAF) offerings. Solution providers are allowed to decide which products and which geographies they’d like to receive an advanced certification, he said.

Approximately three-quarters of Akamai’s channel partners have basic certification, which McCollough said requires them to take online courses and pass exams focused on best practices for sales, pre-sales and support. The advanced certification goes beyond coursework to include labs and mentorship to ensure the channel partner has hands-on experience delivering and implementing solutions, he said.

In the future, McCollough said Akamai also plans to assess advanced partners through customer feedback to ensure clients were satisfied with the services the solution provider delivered. Roughly a third of Akamai’s revenue – and two-thirds of the company’s new customers – come from channel partners, who are most involved with delivering the company’s enterprise security offerings, he said.

From a metrics standpoint, McCollough said Akamai plans to track the amount of new business and deal registrations being generated by partners, as well as the frequency with which solution providers lead demos and proof of concepts (POCs). The company will additionally monitor the effectiveness of Level 1 support being offered by partners, according to McCollough.

Rackspace has historically resold Akamai products for its seven years as a partner, but the new program will help facilitate the delivery of managed services around Akamai for the first time, said Lisa McLin, Rackspace’s global vice president of alliances and channel chief. Akamai is now offering training to Rackspace’s customer success technicians around Day 2 support and ongoing service delivery, she said.

McLin said Akamai is additionally able to track which Rackspace technicians have participated in which Akamai training programs. As a result, McLin said Rackspace is now able to provide ongoing end-to-end support around Akamai’s products rather than calling the vendor when a customer encounters an issue.

Rackspace has had U.S. and U.K. employees use Akamai’s platform to go through a three-day virtual training course with practice tests that paves the way to getting certified, McLin said. Going forward, McLin said Rackspace plans to launch additional services around Akamai and get personnel in Asia-Pacific and Latin America certified so that customers are supported regardless of their time zone.

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