Nutanix expert on the factors that make a partner programme successful
By Bassam AlMasri, Sr. Manager Channel, Nutanix – Middle East
Partner programmes should be dynamic and stay ahead of the trends. The technology space is one of the fastest changing industries and so with the evolving landscape, it’s important to keep your hand on the pulse and change strategies accordingly. A partner programme should ensure that all partners, irrespective of which tier they fall into, have equal access to opportunities to evolve and grow their businesses.
A partner programme should have a clear and defined vision and plan on how to achieve it. And a recognition and reward programme that is transparent and achievable.
Nutanix is a perfect example of a company that has broken the traditional partner programme mould and created a channel charter. The term ‘programme’ is too definitional and limiting.
Too many vendor partner programmes today focus on partner classification and tiering based on revenue alone.
However, there are other factors that we deem more relevant for long term mutual success including the number of deals, quality of deals and partner’s investment in Nutanix through certifications and training.
Measuring commitment by transactions rather than total revenue allows smaller, focused partners to reach the highest level of partnership, not just the large account resellers and long-time Nutanix partners who have already built up large practices.
Transactions also show breadth, winning new customers as well as getting repeat business. Nutanix understands that it is important to have a mechanism in place to safeguard against partners trying to beat the system with artificially smaller deals to score more transactions and as such the company has implemented advanced analytics that immediately raises a red flag.
Nutanix’s channel charter is about empowering partners rather than measuring them and giving benefits based on what they deliver. There’re no platinum, diamond or silver-levels. Instead partners are categorised as pioneers, scalers and masters.
Pioneers are newbies who have just joined with the company and they need a different set of tools and support. Scalers are companies that are experiencing strong growth and need additional support; and masters are companies that are off and running on their own. In addition to more margin, the master partners get more MDS as well and more sales support, because they are selling more and addressing more of the market. Each category needs different rewards, incentives and forms of support.
Training and certification is a very important part of a good partner programme. Giving up control of opportunities to partners can be an uncomfortable process for territory managers but with the proper training and certification to measure the level of expertise in the channel, everyone can be fully confident in a partner’s ability to professionally deliver the best and most compelling representation of a solution.
When you don’t have a training programme in place, it limits the ability to scale the business as vendor presence is typically going to be required to ensure the customer fully understands the value of your solution.
Moreover, unless a partner is trained and certified, you have no way of qualifying the level of expertise in the partner organisation and whether they need additional help in certain areas. In short partner training is mandatory for any vendor if they expect to be successful and meet their growth targets.
Finally, it’s very important to constantly get feedback from partners so that the partner programme can successfully evolve and be tailored to their needs.