ARC 2010: Top 10 Channel Partner Programs

10 Top Channel Partner Programs

When you think of your best vendor partners, what probably comes to mind is excellent product quality, as well as top-notch partner programs.

Our Annual Report Card research asked VARs how they felt about their vendors' programs. The 10 best follow -- take a look and see how your programs stack up.

10. Cisco

Score: 72.4

At number 10 is Cisco Master Unified Communications recognizes partners with in-depth technology skills and demonstrated customer success in selling, deploying and supporting sophisticated Cisco Unified Communications solutions.

9. NetApp

Score: 72.5

NetApp comes in at number nine on the list of best partner programs. Earlier this year, the vendor enhanced its partner program by integrating service providers into its offerings, a move intended to help its solution providers help their customers move to a cloud-computing environment.

8. Sophos

Score: 74.7

At number eight is Sophos' partner program, according to its VARs selling Client Security Software. Sophos is one of several Top Ten vendors that our 100 percent channel focused. In addition to discounts and promotions, resellers get deal protection and incentives for originating and maintaining customer subscriptions.

7. EMC

Score: 78.2

EMC's partner program in the Network Storage technology category came in seventh in our survey. Last year, the program came in second overall. EMC's Velocity Partner Program centers around creating partnerships through opportunity development and incentives, ease of doing business, access to a high-quality portfolio of solutions and partner loyalty.

6. Kaspersky Lab

Score: 78.6

At number six is Kaspersky's Solution Provider Program in Client Security Software. The score is slightly up from past year's 74.6. Kaspersky product is entirely sold through channel partners and the vendor provides training and support.

5. Intel

Score: 78.6

Intel's channel program ranked fifth out of all those surveyed for ARC. Within the Processors category, Intel's only competitor, AMD, earned a 66.2 for its Partner Program.

4. Symantec

Score: 79

Coming in fourth is Symantec's Channel Program in Data Protection Software. Microsoft's channel program in this category was rated the worst out of five competitors. Symantec's score is 10 points higher than its 2009 mark.

3. SonicWall

Score: 79.3

VARs ranked SonicWall's channel program in the Network Security Appliances product group third overall. The vendor's Medallion Channel Program offer solution providers the support of the vendor's staff, as well as profitable recurring revenue.

2. Fortinet

Score: 80.9

Fortinet took second 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. Last year, Fortinet came in ninth overall for its partner program.

1.: EMC

Score: 83.6

EMC took top honors in the entire survey for its Data Protection Software channel partner program. In addition to building partnerships through incentives, the Velocity Partner Program creates synergies between VAR offerings and EMC technology. Last year, EMC's Storage Software channel program was ranked #1 in the entire survey; that category is not in the ARC this year. The channel program with the lowest score is in Volume Mainstream Business Servers, and belongs to Oracle.