Making The Grade: CRN's 2017 Annual Report Card Partnership Standouts

ARC Partnership Scores

It's all about the relationship.

This year's CRN Annual Report Card survey asked solution providers to grade IT vendors against multiple criteria – with partnership being one of the most important – across 22 technology categories.

Here's a look at the vendors with the 10 highest partnership scores, starting with No. 10 and working up to No. 1.

We've also included links to the 2017 CRN Partner Program Guide for each vendor with details on each company's partner program.


Technology Category: Enterprise Networking Infrastructure

Partnership Average Score: 80.1

CRN 2017 Partner Program Guide: /partner-program-guide/ppg2017-details.htm?c=50

Channel Chief: Wendy Bahr, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Organization

In June Cisco changed up how individuals become Cisco-certified through the vendor's new Continuing Education Program, eliminating the need to keep taking certification exams. Individuals can become re-certified by obtaining credits toward specific certifications through online courses, instructor-led training or participating in sessions at events such as Cisco Live.

Tripp Lite

Technology Category: Power Protection/Management

Partnership Average Score: 80.4

CRN 2017 Partner Program Guide: /partner-program-guide/ppg2017-details.htm?c=228

Channel Chief: Bob Nahorski, Executive Vice President, U.S. Channel Sales

Tripp Lite has nearly 1,800 solution provider partners in its Tripp Lite Partner Program and Premier Partner Program.


Technology Category: Processors

Partnership Average Score: 80.9

CRN 2017 Partner Program Guide: /partner-program-guide/ppg2017-details.htm?c=112

Channel Chief: Maurits Tichelman, Vice President and General Manager, Worldwide Direct, Channel Sales

Intel recently said that Michelle Johnston Holthaus would become the new head of the chip maker's Sales and Marketing Group, effective Sept. 6, taking over from Greg Pearson, who is taking on a new role with the company. Holthaus is said to be close to the channel and she is expected to play a key role in aligning partners with Intel's future strategic areas of focus.


Technology Category: Notebooks/Mobile Computers

Partnership Average Score: 81.2

CRN 2017 Partner Program Guide: /partner-program-guide/ppg2017-details.htm?c=66

Channel Chief: John Byrne, President, Global Channels

In August Greg Davis, Dell's president of Global Client Solutions, urged solution providers trying to ramp up commercial PC sales to work with Dell Technologies' sales teams to increase sales to corporate enterprise customers.

Dell EMC

Technology Category: SMB Networking

Partnership Average Score: 81.7

CRN 2017 Partner Program Guide: /partner-program-guide/ppg2017-details.htm?c=66

Channel Chief: John Byrne, President, Global Channels

Dell acquired storage system manufacturer EMC last year for $58 billion and earlier this year Dell EMC executives unveiled a new channel program with the stated goal of offering the most profitable partner program in the industry. The program, for example, doubled the storage system rebates from the legacy EMC program and rewarded partners for selling converged and hyper-converged systems. The company also said it would pump $150 million into partner incentives in the new fiscal year.


Technology Category: Web Application Security

Partnership Average Score: 85.0

CRN 2017 Partner Program Guide: /partner-program-guide/ppg2017-details.htm?c=234

Channel Chief: Leslie Bois, Vice President, Global Channel

Veracode is a provider of a cloud-based, secure DevOps platform for securing web, mobile and third-party enterprise applications throughout the software development life cycle.

In January former Kaspersky Lab channel executive Leslie Bois began work as head of global head of channel and alliances for Veracode. Later in the year CA Technologies acquired Veracode for $614 million.

Buffalo Technology

Technology Category: SMB External Storage Hardware

Partnership Average Score: 85.8

CRN 2017 Partner Program Guide: /partner-program-guide/ppg2017-details.htm?c=35

Channel Chief: Bill Rhodes, Director of Channel Sales, Buffalo Americas

In August network and storage device maker Buffalo Technology said it would shift its focus away from consumer selling and double down on its SMB channel partners by increasing its sales and channel marketing staff. The announcement came as the company revamped its product line with a slew of new network and storage products.


Technology Category: Network Security

Partnership Average Score: 87.8

CRN 2017 Partner Program Guide: /partner-program-guide/ppg2017-details.htm?c=205

Channel Chief: Kendra Krause, Vice President, Global Channels

Sophos is developing a new cloud security provider partner program for launch later this year that will focus on the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market and provide a way for partners to bring security to public cloud environments. Vice President of Global Channels Kendra Krause teased the launch of the new program at its Sophos Partner Conference in May, where she also outlined plans for new training and enablement offerings for partners.


Technology Category: Data Protection Software

Partnership Average Score: 89.8

CRN 2017 Partner Program Guide: /partner-program-guide/ppg2017-details.htm?c=209

Channel Chief: Lee Schor, Vice President, Americas Sales

StorageCraft's high partnership score follows the vendor's debut of a new partner program and revamped partner portal last year. The StorageCraft Partner Network global program included new training curriculum, enhanced profit margins, deal registration and new marketing tools.

Kaspersky Lab

Technology Category: Endpoint Security

Partnership Average Score: 92.1

CRN 2017 Partner Program Guide: /partner-program-guide/ppg2017-details.htm?c=122

Channel Chief: Jason Stein, Vice President, Channel

Security software developer Kaspersky Lab received the highest partnership score in the 2017 Annual Report Card survey.

In July Kaspersky Lab named Jason Stein as its new head of North American channels, replacing former channel chief Leslie Bois, who left in December to take the channel chief role at Veracode.

In April the company expanded its partner program to address the needs of managed security service providers and create more recurring revenue opportunities for partners.