Highlights of the new Datto program include a new tier for the top two per cent of partners, as well as new marketing and benchmark analysis initiatives.
Data protection vendor Datto has announced the Global Partner Program, a new partner program that completely redoes programmatic structure and design, compared with its predecessor.
“This is a complete overhaul of our program,” said Sue MacGregor, Director of Partner Marketing for Datto. “The program has been completely redesigned.”
Datto has been remarkably successful in recent years within the data protection space, and the old partner program can take some credit for that. However, while that program had been successful, MacGregor acknowledged that that Datto had simply outgrown it as the company grew and diversified beyond its original base.
“The key change is the way it’s structured,” she said. “Before, the program was based on cloud storage. It is now designed to tier by monthly recurring revenue to better align with how Datto views its business. We need our program to grow with us.”
The structure of the tiers has also been changed, to reward Datto’s top partner producers.
“The old program was a four tier program,” said Samantha Ciaccia, Partner Marketing Manager at Datto. “However the first tier in that program was for non-buying partners, who signed up but who never purchased anything. So there were three real tiers. That tier is now gone in the Global Partner Program. It has been replaced by a separate access program for prospects who want to evaluate the program.”
The new program is also a four tier program, with the new tier being one that solves a problem the old partner program had. While it was designed to allow partners to advance relatively easy, a consequence of this was a lack of differentiation at the top, so that Datto’s most productive partners were not differentiated sufficiently or rewarded appropriately.
“The top tier in the old program really didn’t have a place for our top partners to go,” Ciaccia said. “We now have a new top Tier, Blue, which reflects how the program has grown and how Datto has evolved, and is the place for those partners to go.” The Blue tier will encompass the top two per cent of Datto’s approximately 6000 partners.
The Business Program is now the entry level tier. It is followed in ascending order by Professional, Enterprise, and Blue.
The new partner program has also added some new benefits. One of them is MarketNow, a new marketing automation platform that is free for partners to use, with templated promotional campaigns, co-branded and customizable collateral, and streamlined social media content.
“MarketNow is available to all partners and is free of charge,” McGregor said. “It is a full enablement platform, which we didn’t have before. We provided customized materials to partners, but didn’t have the deployment mechanism this does.”
Datto will also be running a pilot program with selected partners to get them to use the new tool effectively – and demonstrate its success potential to other partners.
“We have taken 40 of our partners, and dedicated our own staff as a marketing resource for them,” McGregor stated. “We will get them up to speed on this and get them involved. The assumption is that they will generate more leads through this one-on-one hand holding. If they see results from this, it will likely generate much broader participation.” This program begins today.
Datto is also introducing Benchmark Analysis, which will let partners from the Professional, Enterprise and Blue tiers evaluate their businesses both against new research and against benchmarks from top Datto Partner performers.
“We surveyed our top 100 partners about how they operate their Datto businesses, and compiled all that data to provide the Benchmark Analysis program,” Ciaccia said. “Partners can review with their Datto Account Manager how they stack up against the top 100 benchmarks. It’s a really cool exercise that takes about an hour.”
“One of the biggest challenges in running a 6000 partner program is making sure we are supporting and providing content to partners of all shapes and sizes – from one man shops to ones with 200 plus staff,” McGregor said. “Benchmark Analysis will be valuable in helping to bridge the gap between small partners and larger ones, because the smaller partners may not have the insights into what the larger companies are doing.”
The Not for Resale (NFR) program has also been revamped, to provide one discounted NFR device from each of Datto’s product families to partners, to allow them to provide a full range of demos for customers.
“We have always had a NFR program, but before a partner could only get one NFR device period, so they had to choose which product they wanted,” McGregor said. “Now they can get their hands on every single product Datto sells.”
Datto is also introducing a new Advanced Sales Tactics Training course, which focuses on the benefits and opportunities of going up market, as well as unique sales strategies for mid-market organizations.
Datto last introduced a new partner program in 2013, and McGregor indicated that the goal this time is to not have to restart the program ever again.
“This program will evolve more as we go along,” she said. “This is intended to be the first day of a lifetime program. We want this program to be the one that we just have to tweak going forward.”
Datto is holding a webinar to explain the new program, at multiple times, beginning today, March 9.