2015 Channel Chiefs: 21 Strategies For Attracting Next-Gen Partners

In With The New

In the ever-changing IT landscape, the pressure is on technology vendors to find the best partners to deliver their technologies. But simply identifying the right solution provider to partner with is only half the battle.

As part of CRN's 2015 Channel Chiefs project, we asked channel executives to share their strategy for attracting the next-generation of solution providers to partner their company. Here's what some of them shared.


Patrick J. Conte

SVP, GM, Worldwide Field Operations

We are creating a varied program for all three partner types -- ISVs, resellers and MSPs -- where we have offerings that fit each of their individual business models for the channel. In addition, we're offering a next-generation product that is focused on securing enterprise content that is used by the rapidly growing segment of mobile workers, which itself drives the desire of next-generation solution providers to work with us.


Gregg Prendergast

VP, U.S. Commercial Sales

Acer remains the only major PC maker 100 percent committed to supporting the channel for commercial sales. Acer does not sell direct to businesses, which means Acer will not compete with the channel or take a reseller end-user deal direct. We've reduced the effort required for resellers to partner with Acer America with a larger U.S. sales team, enhanced partner portal, aggressive backend rebates and other ACE enhancements planned for 2015. We offer service authorization to qualified resellers, which enables them to offer end-to-end sales a support for end-users while also improving overall margins selling and servicing Acer products.


Steve Blum

SVP, Worldwide Sales, Services

Autodesk is implementing new business models with a focus on recurring revenue with Desktop Subscription offerings and cloud services. Autodesk has been working with partners since its inception, and partners are vital to our success and will continue to be as the company transitions more of its channel business to term based offerings. Through these new offerings, we are attracting new types of channel partners, including born-in-the-cloud partners. To attract the born-in-the-cloud partners, we are creating new programs and incentives that are targeted specifically for this new type of partner.

Binary Tree

Walter Monasterio

Director, Strategic Alliances

We actively recruit partners through in-person events and other trade activities. Within our current partner base, we interact regularly to understand how they perceive their markets changing and how to attract like-minded organizations to capitalize on technologies such as the cloud. We look at the competition and how they are going to market from there, we analyze if those competitors are doing anything innovative within their partner community. Last, we look at new competitors who use disruptive tactics in the marketplace and the solution providers they are working with on these initiatives as potential partners for our own community.


Jessica Couto

Director, Worldwide Channels

We are attracting the next generation of solution providers by adding more vendors to our Technology Alliance Program as well as expanding our MSSP and IR Program to more partners. Additionally, investments into our partner portal, marketing, automating our spiff program, adding a new sales and SE certification, as well as improving our Professional Services Delivery program will continue to draw the next generation of partners to Bit9.

Bluebeam Software

Stacey Kirsch

Senior Channel Marketing Manager

We've started by redesigning our partner program to be more attractive both to sales reps and the management level. Understanding that sales come from the bottom up, we've include benefits like a universal deal registration that puts money back in their pockets. We've also tried to appeal to those who run their own company by offering certifications that help them gain additional revenue, and with one-on-one marketing support at every level. Authorized partners can download pre-made materials for sales support and status-level partners are eligible for year-long marketing programs with quarterly check-ins.


David Siles


DataGravity has a great margin for selling and is positioned to grow rapidly, which is a top attraction for the channel community. We are building out the DataGravity Partner University, which compiles resources for technical training, sales enablement, co-branded market awareness tools and go-to-market campaign materials to further help our partners generate new revenue and simplify the process. We are also developing an interactive mobile resource library that allows partners to improve their customer response time and better prepare them at all times with comprehensive references and materials, in order to drive more sales.

D-Link Systems

Michael Hardy

VP, Enterprise, Channel Sales

We continue to work hard to earn partners' business by providing great products with strong deal registration, great margins and a personal touch' sales strategy. Our partners tell us that they keep coming back to D-Link because we make business easy. In 2015, we will continue to update the partner program and further streamline our business processes to make business with us even easier. One example is to provide up-front discounts granted at distribution for our tiered partners.


Jos Brenkel

SVP, Printing & Personal Systems, Worldwide Sales Strategy, PMO

HP is attracting committed partners with a unique mix of innovative, profitable partner programs, marketing support, training, and a broad portfolio of leading products and services offerings. All are critical for a solution partner's sustained success. HP is focused on enhancing the quality of its partner base. Recruitment is focused on specific segments and geographies where HP needs stronger presence and offers unique partner value, resulting in more opportunities for HP and our partners. HP also continues to build stronger, more collaborative relationships with our partners through deeper executive engagement, strategic planning, industry partner conferences, forums, advisory boards and programs.


Neal Bradbury

Co-Founder, VP, Channel Development

Intronis is attracting the next generation of solution providers by embracing trends in the marketplace and bringing more cloud-based services to the table that partners can then resell. An example of this is Intronis ECHOshare, a cloud-based solution that enables channel partners to easily expand their IT services portfolio to include tightly integrated business-grade file sync and share. Additionally, through Intronis Essentials, we are communicating with partners in ways that go beyond the traditional newsletter, including social media and empowering them to communicate with their customers using social platforms by giving them the tools they need to achieve this.


Roger Hodskins

VP, Global Channels, Alliances

We target global partners who are willing to work together, by investing now, and thinking long term. The cloud market is growing fast and you can't afford to be on the tail end of the trend. You need to think clearly about where your business will be in one, three and five years, and prepare accordingly. Go out and get some cloud deals now if you haven't already. And if you have a clear vision for your future, it can be a profitable one as cloud services revenue can bring you predictable cash flow, higher gross margins, and higher valuations.


Regina Kunkle

VP, Americas Channel Sales

NetApp has recently launched exciting products that put the partner and NetApp technology front and center in the cloud. Customers want data mobility - the ability to have some data on-premise and some data in the cloud, be able to manage it securing and move it back and forth easily. This presents a huge opportunity for our partners, as well as attracting a new and different type of partner to us in the future. We are working on programs to help our partners navigate this new opportunity.


Craig West

VP, Channel Sales

NetSuite offers a best-of-breed revenue model to partners: boxed-product type margins of 30 percent to 50 percent, combined with the true recurring revenue at 30 percent that only a subscription-based application can deliver. NetSuite also announced the BPO [Business Process Outsourcing] Partner Program, enabling BPO/BPaaS partners to provide complete business process automation to clients of any size. By expanding our product footprint, adding HCM [Human Capital Management], POS, and ecommerce capabilities, we can recruit new partners with expertise in those specific areas. NetSuite's SuiteCloud development platform and NetSuite OneWorld provide the customization and flexibility required by multi-national enterprise companies and present major growth opportunity for partners, enabling recruitment of more enterprise partners.


Steve Kaplan

VP of Channel and Strategic Sales

The combination of public cloud and enterprise web-scale technologies is putting enormous pressure on the leading traditional datacenter infrastructure incumbents and their channel partners. We look for partners who are not afraid to disrupt the status quo by bringing a superior architecture to their customers. We attract these partners through concentrated social media exposure, conventional marketing, calls from our channel team, public relations efforts and via other industry partners including both manufacturers and distributors.


Tom LaRocca

SVP, North America Technology Sales, Alliances, Channels

At this year's Oracle OpenWorld, we announced the Oracle CloudConnection, an initiative which will connect the rapidly expanding global community of independent cloud developers with Oracle's best engineers and designers (as well as one another). The NA Alliances and Channels organization continues to invest aggressively in partners focused on key initiatives to drive high, sustainable growth. We are also enhancing engagement and alignment with systems integration partners across a broad spectrum of specializations and industries to increase our reach and expand opportunities for our partners.


Kimberly King

VP, Global Partners, Channels

We are actively extending our ecosystem and building offerings that only a next-generation solution provider can deliver. Identifying key partners, like app builders, to develop key offerings and specialties that allow all of our partners to move forward will be key. I think specialization is important with next-generation solution providers.

Red Hat

Mark Enzweiler

SVP, Global Channel Sales, Alliances

First, we have a very diligent segmentation tool. Second, we tailor value propositions around specific segments; no one size fits all approach. Third, unlike other vendors who make their partners start from scratch each year, we only go back about 80 percent. So our partners' investments remain intact. They do not need to spend it on renewals; they can spend it on other beneficial activities. In short, our partners get more multiplier from the dollars they spend with us. Finally, we're in over 90 percent of the Fortune 500 -- a nice selling point.

Ruckus Wireless

Ron Gill

VP, Americas, Enterprise Sales

Ruckus is all about keeping it simple. Partnering with the channel is part of our DNA. Our competitors work with the channel -- Ruckus partners with the channel. We continue to introduce product solutions with margins that make doing business with Ruckus very attractive. While we make Ruckus 101 Education very accessible, we are also willing to go the extra mile to work with our partners to win business. While Wi-Fi is now required everywhere, few channel partners have built their business around Wi-Fi, nor is it a primary focus. We recognize that fact and pick up the slack where necessary.


Mitch Breen

SVP, Global Sales

SimpliVity has a multi-faceted approach to attracting next-generation solution providers to its program. First, SimpliVity is evangelizing the new wave of innovation: hyperconverged infrastructure, a market that IDC forecasts will grow to nearly $15B by 2017. Second, SimpliVity educates prospective partners regarding SimpliVity's differentiation versus other market entrants and why our competitive position can help them win business. Third, SimpliVity demonstrates the value in becoming a SimpliVity partner, including our partner program, deal registration, and enablement activities.


Jon Pritchard

EVP, Worldwide Channels

We're recruiting partners who want to build a long-term recurring revenue services business based on strong skill sets coupled with innovative solutions. Unify Partner Program will be attractive to telecom resellers interested in transforming from a hardware-centric business model to a services model and to keep pace with the industry migration to the cloud. We'll also be attractive to a new generation of born-in-the-cloud resellers who want to incorporate groundbreaking UC and collaboration technology into an existing cloud services portfolio. We plan to increase our coverage to meet market demand in a way that is complementary with our existing partners.


Susan Penevolpe

VP of Sales

By staying true to our core values: 1. 100% Channel focus - WTG doesn't sell to endusers, we are here to support the success of our partners. 2. Diverse portfolio - Our agents always know WTG will have the right solution for their clients needs 3. No quotas - we view our relationships as partnerships. How can we help you succeed?