10 Things Partners Need To Know About AppDynamics New Titan Partner Program

Titan Partner Program: What You Need To Know

In one of Cisco's largest acquisitions in years, the networking giant spent $3.7 billion on application performance and management specialist AppDynamics.

Less than five months after the acquisition, AppDynamics has launched its new Titan Partner Program, aimed at enabling the channel to drive more application and digital transformation sales.

"Applications are the heartbeat of an organization and more and more customers are demanding more from their applications – not just SaaS or performance – but a ton of visibility and a ton of ease-of-use," said Sandy Salty, vice president of strategic initiatives at Trace3, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider who partners with AppDynamics and Cisco. "This is the right time for a partner to [capitalize] on a program like this."

CRN breaks down the 10 things channel partners need to know.

Ghazal Asif Leads The AppDynamics Channel Charge

Leading the channel charge for the new Titan Partner Program is Ghazal Asif, vice president of worldwide channels for AppDynamics. Asif was previously director of global channel sales for Cisco Meraki.

"This is an exciting thing for all partners – whether you're with AppDynamics or Cisco," said Asif, in an interview with CRN. "Not only do Cisco partners get all the goodness from reselling infrastructure, the services – now they can also provide additional value at the application level. It's a win-win for partners."

Standalone Partner Program

Asif said AppDynamics is running as its own independent business unit within Cisco. The Titan Partner Program is separate from Cisco's Partner Program with partners capable of being enrolled in both programs.

"The reason we've been kept independent is so we can continue to innovate, much like Meraki, independent across all the different functions," said Asif. "Our partner program has been specifically designed from the ground up to help partners build long-term values around applications."

Services Implementation Training

AppDynamics is offering hands-on services implementation training to enable partners to build advanced consulting services. Once a partner is certified through the training, the solution provider will be able to work directly with AppDynamics customers to drive more differentiated offerings.

App iQ Training

All partners are eligible for the program's "Kick Starter" online courses. The courses provide the ideal introduction to App iQ Platform, which is AppDynamics intelligent solution for application and business performance morning. Both sales and presales partner teams will have access to the 101-level content to get off to a strong start with mutual customers.

Sales and Presales Enablement

AppDynamics sales and presales team will work closely with partners and mutual customers to assist with proof-of-concept and joint planning. Customized in-person training and enablement programs will drive a deeper understanding of AppDynamics offerings, said Asif. The advanced level "Masters" training courses aim at delivering value to joint customers around digital transformation.

Two Tiers

There are two tiers to the program: Alliance and Titan.

"Our tier systems is very simple. We have a group of highly strategic partners that we are investing really heavily in – they're our Titans. Many of them are already long-standing, loyal Cisco partners," said Asif. "Then the next tier of Alliance partners … are some small consulting firms that are highly specialized. Over the next few months, we'll be creating a promotion path of how an Alliance partner can get promoted to the Titan tier."

Margin Guaranteed

Asif said unlike most deal registration programs, AppDynamics guarantees margins by paying partners a percentage of the total contract value -- resulting in greater predictability in joint opportunities.

"As companies mature, they always have the option of rolling margins back once they reach a certain level of maturity," said Trace3's Salty. "It's easy to pull those amazing incentives back, but AppDynamics decided rather than reeling them back, they would strategically reposition a portion of the margin guarantee, to enable the [partners] to build that talent, to invest back into the partnership and recruit the talent required for growth."

Rebate Program

Titan partners will receive rebates to enable additional investments into building a long-term and strategic AppDynamics practice, according to Asif. "The Titan Program is designed so there is an element of front-end margin with back end rebates as well," she said.

Titan Partner Portal

The Titan Partner Program will have a partner portal separate from Cisco with dedicated resources and content specific for AppDynamics.

Engineering And Field Channel Manager Support

AppDynamics is offering dedicated sales engineering and field channel manager support for certified partners. Asif said the company is "heavily" investing in growing specialized teams that offer support at every stage of the partnership – from aligning with channel sales recourse to dedicated channel sales engineering teams that will work hand-in-hand with partner's technical teams to develop joint offerings.