CrowdStrike Unveils Tiered Reseller Program With Big Discounts, MDF


CrowdStrike is rolling out a three-tiered program for resellers that will provide market development funds (MDF) and generous discounts for partners at the higher levels.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based endpoint security vendor said resellers for the first time will be required to hold a certain number of accreditations to advance to the top two tiers of the Elevate Partner Program, according to Matthew Polly, vice president of worldwide business development and channels. The tiering structure applies only to CrowdStrike's reseller partners, Polly said, and will take effect on Feb. 1.

"CrowdStrike is investing in partners, and we're going to be investing more heavily in the partners we see investing back," Polly said.

[Related: CrowdStrike Eyes IPO In First Half Of 2019: Report]

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CrowdStrike expects between 50 percent and 60 percent of its resellers to be in the introductory Associate tier, between 30 percent and 40 percent of resellers to be at the mid-level Focus tier, and the remaining 10 percent of resellers to climb to the Elite tier. Across all partner types (not just reseller), Polly said the company has roughly 450 partners globally.

From a sales perspective, Polly said Elite partners in developed markets such as the United States are expected to deliver $4 million of annual revenue, while Focus partners are expected to achieve annual CrowdStrike revenue of at least $1.5 million. No revenue or accreditation threshold exists to qualify for CrowdStrike's associate tier, according to Polly.

Accreditations, meanwhile, are available in three categories, Polly said: sales professional, pre-sales, and certified professional. Elite partners in developed markets are expected to have five sales accreditations, four pre-sales accreditations, and one certified professional, Polly said, while Focus partners should have at least two sales accreditations and two pre-sales accreditations.

The company added accreditation requirements to its partner program to ensure that solution providers representing CrowdStrike understand why the company is different and how the company's technology stands apart from its peers, Polly said. Partners qualifying for Elite status based on their revenue level will be given an additional six months to achieve the necessary accreditations, according to Polly.

"Our technology is not just evolutionary in the endpoint security space," Polly said. "It's revolutionary."

The primary benefit of moving up a tier is having access to additional discount, Polly said. All partners have access to CrowdStrike's product at 20 percent off the list price, Polly said, while Associate-level partners can receive an additional 15 percent discount by registering a deal.

The deal registration discount, though, increases to 25 percent for Focus-level partners and 35 percent for Elite-level partners, Polly said, giving top-tier solution providers an excellent opportunity to capture more margin on each transaction.

"These are very competitive discounts versus any alternatives in the market," Polly said.

Higher-level partners will have access to additional MDF, though Polly declined to specify how much. In addition, Polly said Focus partners will get a named channel manager and will be one of ten resellers managed by a single regional alliance manager, while Elite partners will also get a named channel manager as well as a regional alliance manager responsible for just three solution providers.

"It's a really exciting opportunity to partner with CrowdStrike," Polly said.

Additional discount for deal registration will make partners such as Optiv more competitive, while additional training will allow the Denver, Colo.-based solution providers to understand CrowdStrike's technology much better, according to Todd Weber, vice president of partner research and strategy.

Having more access to CrowdStrike's people and wealth of knowledge will make it possible for Optiv to better understand the technology and get the most up-to-date information in front of customers, Weber said. Optiv has been a CrowdStrike partner since 2014, Weber said, and the company is an extremely significant part of Optiv's endpoint security business.

"We believe this will give us a strong competitive advantage," Weber said.