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New Zscaler Channel Program Boosts Enablement For Top Partners

Zscaler’s channel account managers have gone from being responsible for between 20 and 30 solution providers to no more than four partners, allowing them to provide more white-glove service.

Zscaler has rolled out a new partner program that tightens the company’s relationship with top solution providers by adding more enablement capabilities.

The San Jose, Calif.-based cloud security company said the new Zscaler Summit Partner Program is meant to give solution providers more self-service content and dedicated support, according to Al Caravelli, vice president of global alliances and channels. The move comes as Zscaler transitions from velocity-based to value-based relationships with its partners, he said.

“We want to make there’s no light between our partners and our sales teams,” Caravelli told CRN. “Everything we’re doing is to help our customers make their digital transformation journey a success.”

[Related: Zscaler Buys Piece Of Cybersecurity Startup TrustPath For AI Expertise]

Zscaler has grown its enablement team from two people to 28 people over the past 90 days, including four staff members who are dedicated to channel enablement, Caravelli said. In addition, more self-service material will be made available to partners via PC or smartphone.

Zscaler now has channel account managers (CAMs) working with its most focused partners at not only a global level, but also a regional level, providing the company with a level of touch it didn’t have before, according to Caravelli. CAMs have gone from being responsible for between 20 and 30 solution providers to no more than four partners, allowing them to provide more white-glove service, he said.

Under the new program, Zscaler plans to double down on its top 30 solution providers, which Caravelli said account for most of the company’s revenue. Zscaler has more than 920 channel partners in total across the service provider, systems integrator and VAR ecosystems, according to Caravelli.

The Summit Partner Program has three tiers—Base Camp, Alpine and Zenith—based on partners’ sales volume, sales and presales certifications, and capabilities around deployment services, Caravelli said. All partner levels will have access to self-service content and certifications, Caravelli said, but Alpine and Zenith partners will receive more hands-on service from Zscaler staff.

Partners that don’t have deployment capabilities today can sign up for technical and architectural workshops so that they’re able to provide more capabilities to customers, Caravelli said. The new program rewards partners that can directly provision deployment services since it's critical for creating sales momentum, according to Caravelli.

Solution providers that participate in architectural workshops and proof-of-value exercises with customers will receive an additional margin of 5 percent for each, according to Caravelli.

And from a training perspective, Zscaler plans to move from an entirely online-based curriculum to offering hands-on classroom and lab sessions. For instance, Caravelli said longtime partners can request to bring a Zscaler specialist on-site for training in a specific area.

All told, Zscaler wants partners to be able to deliver technical value-added and business services to increase their ability to upsell and grow their wallet share with customers, he said.

“What we’re hoping is that we have really dedicated CAMs that drive as much momentum into the focused partners as possible,” Caravelli said.

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