In addition to the solution provider changes, improvements to distributor benefits were also announced. Changes to the other two tracks, service providers, and Global System Integrator and alliance partners, will be announced later this year.
Enterprise backup vendor Commvault has announced the first major changes to its partner program in five years. Changes to the solution provider and distributor tracks are being announced today, while the other two tracks – service providers, and Global System Integrator and alliance partners – will have their program updates announced in the fall. The biggest news among the program enhancements being announced today is a new rebate for solution providers to bring in new customers.
“We made a massive investment in adding steroids to what was already a great program,” said Riccardo Di Blasio, Commvault’s Chief Revenue Officer. “We want to double down with partners and attract more to make sure that we are relevant.”
Di Blasio is a longtime EMC exec who since 2012 has had senior roles at VMware, Cohesity, and connected car startup GlobeTouch, where was CEO. He just joined Commvault after slow sales induced his predecessor to resign, and while he is responsible for both Commvault’s direct and indirect sales, emphasized that his main commitment is stimulating channel growth,
“I don’t know any way to grow business other than a robust partner ecosystem,” he said. “The data protection market is very competitive. We want to be the best in the industry. In order to be relevant with partners, you have to be a significant amount of their margin contribution so they have skin in the game with you. The intent is not to be Santa Claus. But to be relevant, you do have to be a significant amount of their margin, where they know that of any dollar they sell, a big chunk stays in their pocket.”
To this end, the partner program has been overhauled, in its first systematic change since 2014. The program has four separate tracks, for solution providers, distributors, Global System Integrators and Alliances, and service provider. Today, the solution provider and distributor track changes are being announced. The plan is for the changes to the other two tracks to be announced at the Commvault Go event in October.
A key change to the solution provider track is the addition of a new business rebate.
“We haven’t had anything like that for VARs since I’ve been here,” said Carmen Sorice, Vice President of Global Partner Success at Commvault. “When they bring in a new customer, we pay them a front-end and a back-end rebate, and give them 180 days to expand business with that customer and will continue to give them the back end rebate for that 180 days.” All tiers of partners are eligible for this new rebate.
The second major change in compensation is the addition of an annual rebate for making quota, in addition to the existing quarterly ones.
“In our planning, we have quarterly quota assessments with partners – proxy quarters – and we have paid a rebate for meeting that quarterly target,” Sorice said. “They liked that, but also wanted a tie to an annual quota, so if they had a low quarter, but made up for it elsewhere during the year, they would get compensated. So we now have a two per cent annual rebate tied to an annual quota.” That will apply to all partners in all businesses.
A third major increase, that impacts predominantly the higher level tiers, is increased investment in Business Development Funds [BDF].
“We have had the BDF available before,” Sorice indicated. “However, while we have increased the BDF at each level, we have added a couple of points for the higher-partners if they reach thresholds.”
Changes have been made to improve the deal registration program.
“We have made it easier to register new logos, and simplified the process to provide 90 day extensions to deal registrations,” Sorice said. “It’s now all automated. Before, it was a manual process.”
Alliance partners can also now register leads. In the last two years, Commvault has greatly expanded their go-to-market integrations with key vendors and their channel partners.
“As we have made big investments with Cisco, HPE and NetApp, their sellers want to sell solutions with us, so we now give them the opportunity to register leads,” Sorice noted.
Sales enablement tools, which saw improvement last year, have seen some further enhancements this time around.
“We have introduced new sales play kits that are better focused on the language that partners will be talking to their customer,” Sorice added. “It’s a better business case than just talking about the product.”
Training has been improved within a portal update.
“Partners told us that it was hard for them to find certain things, so we have streamlined content and training to make things more intuitive,” Sorice said.
The changes to the distribution is mainly about increases in rebates and percentages as well as a bonus if a managed partner sells a Commvault deal at a minimum threshold.