The new Silver tier requires two days of training, rather than two weeks like the Gold tier, is focused on UEM, and gives Authorized partners the ability to move up and beyond reselling.
BlackBerry has announced a reworking of their BlackBerry Enterprise Partner Program. The key change is the introduction of a new Silver Tier around the UEM [Unified Endpoint Management] cloud. The new Silver Tier is designed to encourage Authorized partners to step up to higher-value add opportunities around UEM, and to make it easier for them to be trained on the product.
“With our newest release of our UEM software, we announced a host of new capabilities to our UEM cloud capabilities,” said Richard McLeod, BlackBerry’s Global Vice President, Enterprise Software Channels. “We are also seeing aggressive customer movement to the cloud as well.”
To respond to these developments, BlackBerry has created a new Silver tier, which is designed to focus on UEM, and to give Authorized partners, who are by definition focused solely on reselling, an opportunity to developer higher-value offerings.
“The new Silver tier fully accredits partners for deployment and administration,” McLeod said. “Historically, we required our Gold designation for that. Training for our Gold certification requires two weeks of learning, one week of which is spent in the classroom. The Silver certification has the ease and speed of the cloud. Our training for Silver went from two weeks for the Gold to two days. One of that is self-paced training and one day is a virtual lab, leveraging the Blackberry UEM capability.”
One of the goals of the new tier is to enable some Authorized partners to ramp up their skill level.
“We really want to enable a much broader reach with this accreditation,” McLeod said. “We also think it will take the vast majority of our Authorized partners to the next level. Authorized partners are just resell partners – basically fulfilment partners. The Silver tier has the beginning of professional services for the BlackBerry UEM cloud.”
Enablement components of the Silver Tier include virtual training and access to the beta community and knowledge base, to test products before they are released Silver Partners also are eligible for NFR licenses to test and trial UEM Cloud deployments in a virtual sandbox environment. They also are eligible for proposal-based marketing development funds, case studies, strategic Go-To-Market engagement and access to inside sales resources.
“In addition to the Silver Tier, we are also introducing the capability of our Silver, Gold and Platinum partners to tap into our automated lead generation engine, to have a ‘try it and buy it’ capability with customers,” McLeod said. “This includes the ability to create co-branded pieces with a special URL for customer response, which goes to the BlackBerry UEM Cloud for 30-day test trials. Then we provide ongoing feedback to partners so they can turn in into a deal registration and accelerate the sell cycle with the customer.”
McLeod emphasized that this process is different from similar ones offered by other vendors.
“What’s different here from other programs is the co-branding, and bringing the partner into the ongoing feedback, leveraging the BlackBerry engine,” he said.
“We have also revamped our sales accreditation, which is part of our Authorized and Silver tiers,” McLeod added. “We have streamlined it and reduced the amount of time for self-paced training in under two hours. We have also updated it around the BlackBerry portfolio and vision, so everything is very much security-focused and with a cloud-first strategy – and very much associated with business outcomes.”