Data Protection Vendor Acronis Simplifies Channel Program, Applies Consistency Across All Products


Hybrid cloud data protection technology developer Acronis on Thursday unveiled a new channel program aimed at streamlining and simplifying processes for solution providers working mostly with on-premises business.

Acronis realized it couldn't reach the SMB and enterprise markets without channel partners, but its program wasn't easy for partners to navigate, said Patrick Hurley, Americas general manager for the Burlington, Mass.-based vendor.

"Now we're looking at simplification, more value, and ease of doing business with Acronis," Hurley told CRN.

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The biggest change is applying consistent channel partner incentives across Acronis' entire product line, Hurley said.

"Before, we had different incentives for different products," he said. "Now we're offering consistent front-end discounts and deal registration terms."

With the new program, Acronis is offering partners a streamlined program with more predictable benefits, Hurley said. For instance, there are now three partner levels – authorized, gold, and platinum – for all the product lines, with clear explanations of what it takes to move up a level, something that was lacking in the past, he said.

Rebates and deal registration benefits, which until now have differed based on product line, are now consistent. The company has also moved away from coop funding to market development funds, he said.

Another big change is in business planning, Hurley said. "Before, it was based on revenue," he said. "Now we work with partners on a business plan to specify what partners need to do and what resources we can provide for different campaigns."

Acronis is also now for the first time offering partners products on a not-for-resell basis, a streamlined online partner portal, beefed-up training, and 24x7 phone support, he said.

Acronis' new channel program is now very empowering for partners, said Pedro Ledezma, regional sales manager at GHA Technologies, a Scottsdale, Calif.-based solution provider and an Acronis channel partner focused more on license sales than on managed services.

Acronis is now offering plenty of materials, not-for-resale products, full support than ever, Ledezma told CRN. "It's a more simple and straight-forward program which was simplified to encourage partnerships," he said.

Ledezma cited deal registration as an example of a major change. "There was some deal registration in the past, but now it's simpler and easier to understand," he said. "In the past, it was a two-part program, with one part focused on core licensing and the other part focused on growth licensing. Now it's a single program."

While GHA Technologies has focused primarily on non-cloud applications, Acronis is now in the process of introducing the solution provider to offering data protection with a recurring revenue model, Ledezma said.

"This year or next, this is something I would like to spearhead at GHA," he said. "Customers who rely on managed services and who have limited up-front purchasing capabilities rely on resellers like us for everything."

Andy Behar, owner of TicoTech, a Satellite Beach, Fla.-based solution provider and Acronis channel partner, told CRN that his company leads with Acronis when approaching clients.

"I'm selling a product I believe in," Behar said. "The company's new partner program is great. But really, it’s the whole package. Acronis tries making the selling of its products and working with the company simple and straightforward. A lot of companies don't make it easy to work with them. Acronis does."

Acronis provides partners with a simple licensing portal, and customers with an intuitive user interface, Behar said.

"For a reseller, the last thing we need is complexity," he said. "I've ran into companies that are hard to work with, where it's hard to find the right people or it takes days to get started with a deal. A lot of resellers are jacks-of-all-trades, master-of-none. We need things to be simple. Acronis is."