ARC: Top 10 Partner Programs

There are good vendors and there are great vendors. Great vendors not only offer excellent product quality, but also top-notch partner programs. Our Annual Report Card research asked VARs how they felt about their vendors' programs. Here's a look at the top 10 programs.

Juniper offers a number of partner programs, from those selling products and services, to those delivering managed services. Juniper's program in the Network Infrastructure-Enterprise category finished 10th overall in the Annual Report Card survey.

Fortinet took ninth place overall for its partner program in the Network Security Appliances technology category. The FortiPartner program provides seven "pillars" for a successful partnership: Profit margin; recurring revenue stream; deal registration; technology leadership; education and training; renewal tracking and alerting; and channel commitment.

Hewlett-Packard's partner program for its VARs selling Volume Mainstream Business Servers ($24,999 and below) finished eighth overall. These VARs benefit from exclusive services, including increased compensation and prioritized presales, technical support and access to technical Q&A, information research, infrastructure solution consulting, configuration assistance and validation.

Ranked seventh overall for its partner program was Xerox's workgroup color printer partner program. Xerox has a wide range of programs for VARs. The programs help solution providers gain access to a wide product line and complete end-to-end customer solutions.

Cisco's partner program in unified communications/VoIP ranked sixth overall. A new addition to its Channel Partner Program is the Cisco Services Channel Program, designed to be a more profitable way to accelerate VARs' services practices with expanded service opportunities and bigger reward possibilities.

Cisco again won praise from its VARs, this time coming in fifth for best partner program in the Network-Infrastructure technology category. Its program expands sales, delivery and reward opportunities through access to a portfolio of smart and traditional services, performance-based rewards, and global governance and business processes.

HP's partner program in workgroup color printers ranked fourth overall in the survey. Under the Office Printing Solutions partner program, HP provides customers with a portfolio of offerings to help them optimize infrastructure, manage their printing environment and improve workflows at a lower cost.

Cisco won accolades for its partner program in the Wireless Infrastructure category. It came in third overall in the Annual Report Card. The Cisco Services Channel Program streamlines program elements by creating a unified approach across products and services, a single services channel program framework, and a consistent eligibility and rewards structure.

EMC's partner program in the Network Storage technology category came in second in our survey. EMC's Velocity Partner Program focuses on developing rewarding partnerships through opportunity development and incentives, ease of doing business, access to a high-quality portfolio of solutions and partner loyalty.

EMC took top honors in the entire survey for its Storage Software channel partner program. In addition to building partnerships through incentives, the Velocity Partner Program creates synergies between VAR offerings and EMC technology.