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StorageCraft Boosts Partner Incentives In Midmarket Storage Blitz

Solution providers who sell OneXafe converged appliances to five or more customers who are new to StorageCraft in a quarter are eligible for a "new logo" rebate of up to $100,000.

StorageCraft has instituted dramatic increases in partner incentives as part of an all-out midmarket data protection and management sales blitz.

The goal is growth for both StorageCraft and its partners, particularly as the company and its channel amp up business in the midrange storage market.

Solution providers who sell OneXafe converged appliances to five or more customers who are new to StorageCraft in a quarter are eligible for a "new logo" rebate of up to $100,000, said Jeannine Edwards, the company's senior director of channel marketing, noting that the program runs through the third quarter. Sales to three or four net-new StorageCraft customers will net the partner a "new logo" rebate of $50,000, she said.

A solution provider who sells a total of eight OneXafe converged appliances across five net-new StorageCraft customers could see total partner dollars of over $268,000, between the "new logo" rebate, Partner Program rebates, product margins, and estimated professional services, she said.

This includes normal StorageCraft PSP, or Partner Success Program, rebates which can comprise double-digit discounts, deal registration benefits of up to 28 percent for storage solutions, and quarterly rebates which can be as high as 5 percent of quarterly sales of over $100,000 for elite-level partners, Edwards said.

"The program is extremely aggressive. … It's a lot of dollars on the table," she said.

StorageCraft also offers spifs to certified partners who bring qualified leads to the vendor, as well as additional spifs StorageCraft and the partner close the business together, Edwards said.

StorageCraft also offers what Edwards called "locked" deal registration protection. "If the partner registers a deal in the way we ask them to, and they lose the deal, we still pay them a percentage of the deal," she said.

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is on this [midmarket sales charge],” said Douglas Brockett, president of Draper, Utah-based StorageCraft. “There’s a lot of heat on this.”

StorageCraft's PSP, which was rolled out last August, has paid out significant back-end rebates, Brockett said. The company is also starting to provide significantly more co-marketing support and market development funds (MDFs) to partners as well, he said.

While MDFs in general are nothing new to channel partners, Brockett said he is happy his company is taking a new approach to those funds.

"We're really focusing on being proactive with partners, recognizing the fact that it isn't just about putting together a couple hundred bucks to go do a table-top [display] someplace," he said. "It's about, 'Let's go build a campaign, and let's help you by augmenting your team to go do stuff very direct, very specific, very pro-active, and very targeted, rather than just a traditional blah.' Go do something random, and we'll help you."

The MDF program recognizes that where partners really need help is not so much more money but more time and expertise, Brockett said. "We are trying to focus with partners by saying, 'Great, let's go build a plan together, and then let us go augment your efforts with our time and our help and our analytics behind how to get the best payout for you,'" he said.

Edwards said StorageCraft is increasing its channel marketing spending by about 40 percent in 2019 vs. 2018, although she did not provide specific dollar amounts.

For the rest of 2019, the company will expand on the work it has done so far to bring an integrated program to all its partners, and to treat different types of partners—including MSPs and product-centric partners—the same, she said.

"Now we have to integrate the incentives and benefits that make sense to the mid-market, product-centric guys," she said. "When we are doing that with our program, we want to also make sure our managed service providers are still getting the benefit of being at a certain level of the program and can still traverse tiers easily."

StorageCraft has a growing channel partner base, which currently includes between 12,000 and 13,000 partners in the U.S., and the company wants to grow that number across all types of partners, Edwards said.

For instance, she said, StorageCraft has a handful of partners with MSP profiles at the premier level. "But I'd personally like to see more," she said. "I personally would like to make sure they're getting access to some of these cool benefits that we're bringing out in terms of money on the table."

StorageCraft offers technology that just plain works, and works well, said Tim Mektrakarn, chief operating officer at VLPS, an Orange, Calif.-based solution provider and MSP which has partnered with the vendor for five years and is also a consumer of its technology.

StorageCraft is also known for having a great channel program, Mektrakarn told CRN.

"Their focus on channel partners has helped us drive a lot of initiatives," he said. "They throw a lot of resources at us to help educate customers, including supporting events with MDFs and increasing brand awareness."

In addition to providing StorageCraft's OneXafe to customers as a managed service, VLPS also recently purchased about 2 petabytes of OneXafe capacity for its own operations as a cloud and disaster recovery provider, Mektrakarn said.

"We did our proof-of-concept and testing, and now we're offering it as a landing target for our customers using Veeam data protection software," he said.

The midmarket sales charge is bringing longtime StorageCraft SMB partners into the midmarket, said Brockett.

"We want to bring partners along that journey so that, on one hand, they're doing exactly what's right for their business in terms of standardization around their infrastructure and standardization around their offers," he said. "And at the same time, we're also trying to create economic incentives that leads them on that journey to becoming the business they want to be."

Brockett also saw the need for StorageCraft to increase its outbound calling capacity to make sure it is communicating regularly with solution providers, particularly new partners. To that end, the company doubled the number of inside sales reps working side by side with partners to close deals, Brockett said, declining to provide details on the number of new hires involved.

Those sales reps are reaching out to partners to drive new midmarket sales, said Brockett. "We find that if we aren't calling partners on a regular basis, if we aren't holding those conversations with them, our ability to discover what we need to do and learn from them isn't anywhere near where it should be," he said.

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