Veeam global channel chief James Mundle talks with ChannelBuzz about what partners can expect from the changes to the program.
Data protection provider Veeam has announced a range of enhancements to their North American ProPartner program. While none of the changes are individually earth-shaking, they encompass a broad range of enablement activities, and collectively represent a significant upgrade in investment in the partner ecosystem. The enhancements fall into four general buckets: improving incents for the top two of their four partner tiers; expanding the Veeam Partner Perks program, which is focused on individuals at all levels of the program; reworking and rebranding Veeam University as Veeam IQ to improve its content and ease of use; and adding new marketing resources, including a Marketing Concierge Service.
“Our priorities for 2019 involve balancing investments across all of the segments,” said James Mundle, Vice President of Worldwide Channels at Veeam. “We want to be relevant. We want to be our partners’ number one choice in the market.”
To this end, the changes to the program do not reflect a change in philosophy or strategy, but rather an increase in investments.
“We need to enhance and improve partner profitability to make sure we have a predictable and scalable program that delivers an equitable return for partners,” Mundle said. “We need to be predictable in everything that we do, and ensure that the program supports that. We also need to continue to develop partner skills to make sure they are adequately enabled. We need to make sure partners know what products to sell, and how to position them across hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments as well as traditional ones. We need to drive automation and clear reporting, and leverage things like EDI and consumption in the cloud.”
Profitability is directly increased by enhancements to Veeam’s value incentive rebates for their top partner levels, Gold and Platinum.
“We want to reward partners for growing with us,” Mundle said. “So we have taken the value incentive rebate program and are now paying additional accelerators and back end rebates if they hit their revenue goals. If they overachieve, they get more money.”
The second direct change to compensation involves enhancements to the Veeam Partner Perks program, a reward system targeted at individuals, which is aimed broadly at sales, marketing and technical roles.
“We offered Partner Perks in the last year, and had some great success with it, so we are continuing to optimize and improve it, and expand it with additional incentives,” Mundle stated. “It rewards tactical behavior with financial rewards. “This can include a broad range of behaviors, depending on an individual’s role, and includes selling into the SMB space, co-selling with an alliance, taking a certification, completing a Proof-Of-Concept, or running a competitive campaign. Because it is aimed at specific individuals, they need to opt in to the program in order to qualify.
Skills development is to be enhanced with a revamped and rebranded Learning Management System [LMS]. What was previously known as Veeam University is now Veeam IQ. Mundle stressed that much more than the name has changed.
“It’s an entirely new platform,” he said. “This is much better than what we had before, in terms of content, relevance, ease of use and navigation. Partners can access it easily and seamlessly and everything is automated and simplified.” Veeam IQ allows partners to access demos, product and solution training, program and selling education, training courses, and self-paced preparation tools for Veeam certifications including Veeam Technical Sales Professional [VMTSP] and Veeam Sales Professional [VMSP]. Multi-language support has also been added to the LMS for the first time.
Finally, significant new marketing investments have been added, which benefit all tiers of partners, including the entry-level Registered tier
“We have increased our marketing support, enhanced the usability and are making sure that things are organized in a fashion that brings to bear what partners need,” Mundle said. “It required a significant investment. It also reflects the fact that what was satisfactory two years ago becomes outdated.”
A key-net new here is the Marketing Concierge service – a dedicated marketing consultant group available to collaborate with partners to build multi-touch campaigns that focus on digital marketing tactics.
“The concierge service is available to all partner levels – Registered, Silver, Gold and Platinum,” Mundle said. “The higher the level, the more support is offered. Platinum partners receive access to all concierge activities available, while registered partners receive select support from the service.”
In its fullest incarnation, a Veeam Virtual Marketing Manager with the service will guide the partner though the entire campaign process, designating effective campaign materials, customizing content, building social media initiatives, recommending best practices, building campaign components, and managing leads from the Veeam MarketReach email campaign and lead tracking platform after the campaign.
“Veeam’s own sales force is focused on supporting our larger partners, and they get white glove support and service from field marketing managers,” Mundle indicated. “We also want to support the other partner tiers as well, so we have added this team of people to support them through the Concierge service, and have automated ways for partners to leverage content effectively, such as running a campaign in a box. Partners can log in and request the help that they need, and get resources.”