The Rubrik Authorized Support Partner specialization launches as a pilot program, and is primarily focused on Europe, with Insight the only North American launch partner.
Data management vendor Rubrik has complemented the new partner program that went into effect in February by adding a specialization within it for partners who provide technical support. The Rubrik Authorized Support Partner [RASP] specialization has launched in a pilot with a single North American partner. While it will be expanded beyond that, the criteria will be very selective, and require the partners have a demonstrated record of excellence in providing Level 1 and Level 2 support to customers of other vendors.
“Last September, we announced our first official partner program, the Velocity Partner Program,” said Bertrand Yansouni, Rubrik’s VP of Worldwide Channel at Rubrik. “Today we are in the low hundreds in terms of partners, although we have never measured the success of the partner program by numbers. Since Day One, it has been about focus. We measure success by the quality of engagement of partners. We gave partners time to get ready and this program officially launched on February 1, at the start of our fiscal year.”
The goal of this new partner program was about driving momentum of key partnerships within Rubrik’s 100 per cent channel model, and Yansouni said that it centres on three things.
“First is an opportunity for partners to differentiate,” he indicated. “Second was the formalizing of enablement, especially technical enablement and training with Rubrik Academy. And the third was rewards – making sure we invest in partners who invest in Rubrik and reward the right behaviors. The Velocity program has enabled these three things that we were looking for, and it has been extremely well received by partners.”
Yansouni described RASP as a logical extension of the Velocity program.
“Going forward, we are continuing to look for ways to enhance the program’s three objectives – ergo RASP,” he said. “It’s a specialization that fits within the program – for partners who want to be that one throat for the customer to choke.”
RASP partners will provide customers with Level 1 and Level 2 technical support. What has been rolled out now is a pilot, with a tiny number of partners who have already shown that they can deliver that technical support for other vendors. Rubrik’s only RASP partner in North America is Insight Enterprises.
“In this pilot phase, we are working with just a handful of partners, and most of them are in Europe because it is more common for Level 1 and 2 support to be offered by partners in Europe than it is in North America,” Yansouni noted. “That’s because of the need for different local language support there.” Out of the gate, only French integrator Scasicomp has been named, but Yansouni said that a small number of additional ones are currently going through the authorization process.
“While most of the RASP partners in this pilot will be in Europe, we wanted to make sure that we have North American representation in it,” Yansouni said. “We already have a strong partnership with Insight. They have a strong support program, OneCall, that supports other vendors like Pure Storage and NetApp. So they have that structure in place already, and are one of the best at it.”
The RASP program is designed to deepen those existing skillsets around Rubrik support.
“We’ve put together a very significant training program for partners which is the same as the training we provide our own support engineers,” Yansouni said. “We made a big investment in training for this, and the content is very different from the standard training provided to pre- and post-salespeople. Insight has added engineers for this as well. We will also provide significant shadowing within our support organization, to leverage their deep expertise.”
RASP partners will service their own customers only. Yansouni said that they haven’t contemplated a Master Agent type of model where the partner would provide service for the customers of other partners.
“It is not something that we have considered at this point,” he said. On the other hand, while the support provided in the pilot is just VAR support, Rubrik does intend that RASP support will eventually include MSP capabilities.
“Many of our VARs are also MSPs, and that’s on the roadmap as well,” he added.
The pilot program does not set have a pre-set time frame.
“Our own support is extremely high, as demonstrated by satisfaction surveys,” Yansouni stated. “The goal is enabling RASP partners to provide that same quality of support. It will be a few quarters until we have the right set of metrics and the right governance in place. Once those partners are fully trained, we will expand it out from there, but will continue to have a very high bar.”
Rubrik doesn’t have an eventual ballpark figure of RASP partners determined.
“The questions are really, does a partner want to do it, and if they do, do they have the infrastructure,” he indicated. “Do they have a track record of successfully providing Level 1 and 2 support for other customers like Insight is with Pure and NetApp?
“This is a great extension of our Velocity Partner Program,” Yansouni concluded. “Partners who view themselves as providers of true value-add want to be experts. It’s a trait of all the best partners. The RASP program provides them with that opportunity, and lets them differentiate themselves in front of their customers, including in their local language, internationally. It’s a great opportunity for them to grow their business with Rubrik as well, providing these enhanced services around support.”