FalconStor Intros First Three-Tier Channel Program, Partner Advisory Council

FalconStor's new PartnerChoice program changes the way the Melville, N.Y.-based storage vendor deals with its solution provider partners, said Brendan Kinkade, vice president of FalconStor's channel management and global alliances.

"PartnerChoice was developed to provide a structure for partners to be recognized for their commitment to and investment in FalconStor," Kinkade said.

The increased focus on the channel comes after major changes in the executive leadership of FalconStor, which in January got a new CEO and a new North American sales vice president after a turnover of about half the company's sales force.

The executive changes stemmed from the abrupt resignation in September of ReiJane Huai as FalconStor Software's president, CEO, and chairman. Huai, who founded FalconStor, resigned after he disclosed that certain improper payments were allegedly made in connection with the company's contract with one customer.

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PartnerChoice assigns solution providers into one of three tiers.

The authorized business partner tier gives solution providers who sign up for PartnerChoice access to FalconStor's new PartnerPlace channel portal, as well as to the company's tools and training programs, lead registration, and discounts

Solution providers who get technical and sales certifications and agree to a revenue goal can become preferred business partners, which gives them FalconStor channel account manager support, eligibility for market development funds and volume rebates, lead referrals, and demo equipment discounts, Kinkade said.

Those with two FalconStor-certified engineers and two FalconStor-certified sales professionals and who file an annual business plan with the vendor can become premier business partners, which Kinkade said makes them eligible for increased volume rebates, participation in events, preferential lead referrals, co-marketing projects, and nomination for membership in the partner advisor council.

Items like the PartnerPlace portal, market development funds, and volume rebates are all new parts of the PartnerChoice program, Kinkade said.

"We want to help partners move to the higher tiers with demand generation, sales and engineering support, and other support to help them meet their sales objectives," he said.

FalconStor next week will meet with 14 of its top partners in Las Vegas at its first-ever partner advisory council. Kinkade said the company plans to hold team-building activities, product and channel roadmap presentations, and partner strategy workshops with its partners.