CommVault remakes its PartnerAdvantage program

Ralph Nimergood, vice president, worldwide partners and programs for CommVault

Ralph Nimergood, vice president, worldwide partners and programs for CommVault

Data management vendor CommVault has announced a major restructuring of its PartnerAdvantage partner program.

“We have refreshed it from soup to nuts, and added on some new elements to increase predictability, rigor, and global consistency,” Ralph Nimergood, vice president, worldwide partners and programs for CommVault. “We are keeping the program name, but everything has been regenerated for next generation actions.”

Nimergood, a longtime Cisco hand who moved over to CommVault 22 months ago, serves as the global channel chief and also directs the rest of CommVault’s indirect route to market, including strategic alliances.

“We have formalized our route strategy, which is a balanced approach and multi-channel, and which includes VARs, DMRs, SPs/Cloud, OEMS – who have been very good to this company, and global partners,” Nimergood said. “Our product isn’t overdistributed, so we want go-to partners who can build deep and wide competency skills with us, and the program strategy needs to reflect this.”

Nimergood said his arrival coincided with the right time to revamp the program to keep pace with the company’s growth.

“The old program wasn’t broken, but we are at the right inflexion point, with $600 million in sales, and growing at 20 to 30% every quarter, to make sure we are building a maturation model for the program that fits the company,” he said.

The expanded programme includes a globally consistent tiering structure.

“We have created four country classes to group like countries together – the US, Canada, developed countries, like the European countries and Australia, and emerging markets, with the emerging status determined specifically by CommVault’s level of maturity within the country,” Nimergood said. “Originally Canada was classified as a developed country like the others, but we have a very strong partner base there, with deeply committed partners, and so we gave them their own structure.”

The program has three tiers – Platinum, Gold and Authorized – but CommVault is introducing a new designation for high-value members of the Platinum and Gold tiers.

“This MarketBuilder designation is by invitation only and is on top of the tier structure, and reflects their desire to commit at a further level with us,” Nimergood said. “They have committed to formally grow at certain rates, and in exchange receive a higher level reward structure for back-end rebates and MDF.”

MarketBuilder partners can also expand their relationship with a CommVault executive sponsor, who facilitates access to senior CommVault management to support the partner organisation’s growth needs. Other MarketBuilder benefits include lead distribution and customised program support through a dedicated CommVault representative assigned to the partner.

“We expect that ultimately 10 to 15% of VARs will be in this,” Nimergood said.

CommVault’s training accreditation curriculum and tools available through CommVault Partner University have also been remodeled.

“We rebuilt from the ground up all our training and accreditation modules to reflect how we have become a provider of information lifecycle management solutions rather than just backup,” Nimergood said. “We launched new modules to provide content development and specialized training, one on the sales side and two levels of technical, the first two nine months ago and the higher technical architect 45 days ago, and since we introduced these we have accredited 1450 individuals. Partners have a thirst for this kind of knowledge and they have been gobbling it up.”

New partner accreditations are coming as well, with the first being available in July, and which is part of a greater commitment to service provider partners that CommVault is announcing. This Service Advantage Program designation will be followed by other accreditations over the year.

The new PartnerAdvantage “Service Provider Edition” program will now enable service provider partners to accelerate their time-to-market, expand revenue opportunities, and boost profitability, through access to customised software licensing and pricing models, discounts and rebates based on membership levels, sales enablement tools, specialized services and technical assessments, and marketing support and development funds.

“We have released a completely unique price book for them which covers their licensing model and own set of requirements, Nimergood said. “We have well over 200 service and cloud providers and this new programmatic framework will assist in the recruitment of more.”

Finally, CommVault has updated and expanded its InnerVault portal to provide a single, self-service entry point for partners. It lets partners access automated processes ranging from deal registration and marketing requests to a self-managed partner profile, partner plan sharing and dashboards. It also provides access to resources such as partner webinars, competitive and technical information and CommVault Partner University training.

“Also launching with the portal in May is a new configuration and quoting tool which also brings service capability in,” Nimergood said.

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