StorageCraft removes divisions between partner business models in new channel program

In addition to moving VARs and MSP sales into the same pool, the new StorageCraft partner program now brings all the company’s products into a single program, including brand new and acquired ones.

Jeannine Edwards, StorageCraft’s Senior Director of Channel

StorageCraft has revamped their channel program, with the launch of their new StorageCraft Global Partner Success Program. The design philosophy is intended to provide partners with flexible compensation regardless of the business model that leads to specific sales. It also brings all the portfolio under one roof, including the new OneXafe and ShadowXafe offerings, and the Exablox line acquired with InfoBlox in early 2017

“The structure of the new program allows us to span the entire business continuity spectrum,” said Jeannine Edwards, StorageCraft’s Senior Director of Channel. “We want to be the top vendor in that category, a one-stop shop, best-in-class technology partner. That required giving partners better tools, and a program that allows us to standardize, by getting rid of perceived gaps and focusing on solution providers specifically rather than separate categories of VARs and MSPs.”

The unification of the whole portfolio is fundamental to the program. In August, StorageCraft introduced two significant new offerings, ShadowXafe, a next generation data protection solution, and OneXafe, a converged data management and data protection platform. They join the existing  ShadowProtect and Cloud Services DRaaS, as well as the OneBlox arrays that had previously been managed separately.

“After our acquisition of Infoblox, we ran a program for OneBlox with its incents separately, without it being formally a part of the StorageCraft program,” Edwards said. “We found that it was difficult. We now have a robust suite of products that support the entire category. We wanted to do it all in one program that would build appropriate incents across all the different products, not do it in multiple programs.”

The program’s handling of partners across different partner types is the other clear statement of program philosophy. It reflects the fact that many partners today have multiple business models, as traditional partners add managed services to their practices. Partners receive credit for any mix of offerings sold, to maximize their revenue potential.

“Some of our competitors have different programs for MSPs and VARs,” Edwards said. “We wanted to avoid the check box, to get beyond labels, and not tell partners who they are. Most partners today aren’t a pure play of one type. The new program gives them more flexibility by looking at their whole business mix. The threshold requirements are simple to understand, and are based on how much you sell across product categories, however you make the money.”

The new program has three tiers, like the old, but there have been some changes.

“We changed the naming conventions to eliminate any possibility of confusion,” Edwards indicated. “The old program was organized by the familiar precious metals. The levels in this one – Certified Partner, Premier Partner and Elite Partner – reflect the progressive levels of certification, The top tier also has an additional front-end discount that wasn’t in the old program.”

Margins have been enhanced, with more money being made available rather than the existing pool simply being reprioritized.

“We added back-end rebates which for the highest ranking partners are an additional 3-5 per cent,” Edwards said. “The front end discounts are spread across tiers based on revenue thresholds.”

The MDF program has been reworked and is much more formalized than it was before.

“It is now an official program, whereas before it was more onesies and twosies,” Edwards said. “We will now match MDF by rewarding partners for having out-of-the-box ideas they bring to us, and we will fund half of the initiative. During 2019, we will also roll out new vehicles that the MDF can be spent on, with new pre-configured marketing tools, marketing initiatives and collateral.

The deal registration program has also been rejigged.

“In addition to providing the extra margin protection if a deal is registered, we have now added protection for them even if the deal is won by someone else,” Edwards said. “If someone else wins the deal, the registered partner will still be compensated.”

The distribution network has not changed, with Synnex, Tech Data and Lifeboat being the partners. However, all the products, including OneBlox and the new OneXafe and ShadowXafe, will now be available through distribution.

Finally, the StorageCraft Partner Success Program Portal is new, and built on the Salesforce platform.

“It allows us to be more agile, and both provides for a short term, win and a longer-term vision,” Edwards said. “We have worked with Okta to add a multi-factor authentication to provide partners with more security.”