Reborn NexGen looks to make a splash with revamped partner program

Newly spun-off this year, NexGen has made major changes to its channel program to strengthen its support of partners.

Nader Soudah 300

Nader Soudah, NexGen’s Vice President of Worldwide Channels

NexGen Storage, which makes hybrid storage appliances that utilize PCIe flash storage rather than SSDs, has announced its Priority Partner Network channel program. It is a reworking of their old program that is so extensive, it is practically a new program, said Nader Soudah, NexGen’s Vice President of Worldwide Channels, who is himself new to the company, having been there four and a half weeks.

“The program is a mixture of both old and new, but the majority of it is new,” Soudah said. “We are also a new opportunity for the channel with the relaunch of the company as an independent entity.”

NexGen had been a separate company until it was acquired by Fusion-io in 2013, and then became part of SanDisk when SanDisk acquired Fusion-io in 2014. While NexGen expanded its markets and sales under both these companies, there was some significant conflict with SanDisk’s core portfolio, which ultimately led to the decision to spin off the company at the beginning of this year.

“We were part of a large organization where the focus was not on NexGen,” Soudah said. “Now that we are an independent company again, we want everyone to know about it, and the emphasis on the newness of the program is a part of that.”

The new features start with a new partner portal.

“The new portal gives partners a view into the company and gives us visibility to know where to pass leads, which we want to share with partners,” Soudah said. “The process was always simple, even in the old portal, but now things are one click in the new portal. We also take pride in the response time for deal registration, which has improved dramatically.”

The deal registration process has also been modified to make more of a partner’s margin continent on the initial deal registration.

“Deal registration pricing is offered by almost everybody, but what really differentiates the programs is how much is given to the registering partner,’ Soudah said. “Some programs offer deal reg pricing at 25 per cent, and allow partners to come in late and take the deal with 10 per cent margin. That’s only 15 per cent protection, and that’s not enough. We are trying to help partners build a business.”

Sales and marketing assistance is also being increased significantly.

“We will be adding more resources,” Soudah said. “We have added a new channel marketing person, and another resource is coming in for the channel sales side. We will be making more investments, and there will be more joint activities with partners going on.”

New service revenue opportunities are coming as well.

“Services have always been a healthy piece of the business, and we are adding other items to the road map that will add further potential,” Soudah said.

Other program features include a brand new incentive piece that will be announced this week, and new rewards for net-new business.

Soudah also touted NexGen’s specific support of VMware vSphere 6 as offering major partner opportunities.

“Our partnership with them and what we are doing with the product is many steps ahead of the competition,” he maintained.

Today NexGen has approximately 40-50 active partners in North America, and Soudah said they are looking to the program to increase that only slightly, with quality candidates, as they don’t plan a great increase in the number of partners.

“My philosophy is not to go after several hundred partners, because it is too hard to build a business with all of them,” he said. “As we invest more in lead generation, marketing and branding, having too many partners would eat up those resources.”

Canada, is however, one place where the partner community could be increased.

“Canada presents a grand opportunity, because we have been focused mainly on the U.S., and the number of Canadian partners is fewer than I’d like,” Soudah said.

NexGen works with SYNNEX and Promark for its North American distribution.