New Relic remakes partner program to reflect broader focus, modern channel

New Relic has updated a partner program that no longer adequately reflected their solutions mix, or who was selling the solutions.

Todd Osborne, group vice president, alliances and channels at New Relic

Today, observability provider New Relic is announcing a major overhaul of its partner program with the New Relic Partner Network. The company’s channel program had become a relic itself. It was designed when the company was an application performance monitoring [APM] provider, before its expansion into a broad observability platform. It was focused on traditional reseller partners, when the main component of the channel ecosystem had become AWS and the integrators and consultants who work with it. It also had no Technology Partner component for ISV integrations. All of this has been addressed in the new program.

San Francisco-based New Relic is a 12-year old company, whose name is an anagram of Lew Cirne, the company’s founder and CEO.

“We were the first pure SaaS application performance management company, competing against the likes of CA and BMC,” said Todd Osborne, group vice president, alliances and channels at New Relic. “Go online, get a free download, and we try and sign you up after the trial period. We’ve evolved a lot from that as we moved into the enterprise – and 50% of our business now is there. While we started with online credit card purchases, now over 900 customers spend $100,000 with us and more than 90 spend over a million dollars.”

That evolution has led to New Relic becoming a full stack, including infrastructure applications and end user marketing, that enable customers to connect to their partner ecosystem.

“We now talk about our market being around observability, and us as a platform for observability,” Osborne said. “The market we go after is moving to the cloud, and modernizing with Kubernetes and containers. They now have to monitor a whole host of different entities. Because of this, monitoring has evolved from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have.’ An observability platform is a must-have.”

The ecosystem of partners that New Relic has developed leverages that platform to accelerate key customer business initiatives like cloud adoption, application modernization, and digital customer experience.

“Our core strategy with the ecosystem is to engage as early as we can around customer digital transformation efforts.” Osborne said. “We want them to know we can help with those journeys to make them as streamlined and successful as possible.”

The legacy channel program, however, did not provide a great deal of help here. It was originally designed for traditional resellers, who are a fairly minor part of the ecosystem. Much more focus in the new program has been given to the AWS cloud ecosystem and the integrators and consultants within it. And Technology Partners, who were not supported at all programmatically before despite more than 200 integrations having been completed, are now explicitly supported.

“We did have a legacy program, although it hadn’t been marketed extensively,” Osborne said. “The program was focused around partners being traditional resellers. But ours is not a traditional ecosystem, and we had to evolve and develop a program that reflects our modern partner ecosystem. We now have a more nuanced ecosystem of CSPs and consultants. Our success over the last two years has proven the value of the ecosystem, and we wanted to define the different partner types more specifically and refine the way we work with them.”

The New Relic Partner Network now offers program benefits for channel partners that may have multiple business models, including solution providers, MSPs, and consulting partners. It contains –  for the first time – a New Relic Technology Partner Program, to enable integration partners receive go-to-market benefits for integrating with New Relic  applications.

“We have over 200 native integrations with New Relic with integration partners, but we have never had a Go-to-Market program around it before,” Osborne indicated.

Central to it all is the cloud ecosystem around AWS.

“It really does all start with the cloud provider – AWS – and they use consultants and integrators more than traditional solution providers,” Osborne said. “Large GSIs are part of this, as are ‘born in the cloud’ partners who started out doing consulting for AWS, and MSPs like 2nd Watch. We are starting to do a bit more with traditional resellers, but that cloud ecosystem is really where we play.”

While New Relic now offers a broad visibility platform, its training still dated from its APM days, and that has now been addressed.

“Our training was all about our APM product and we certified for that, but now as an observability platform, we needed to uplevel,” Osborne said. “We have significantly enhanced our education capabilities around both technical and sales enablement. The new certification program delivered through New Relic University offers a comprehensive observability-focused curriculum across the entire New Relic platform.

Demand generation assets and tools, such as playbooks and event-in-a-box templates, have also been enhanced and updated to reflect New Relic’s broader focus.

“With our massive transformation to a platform company, we had a major refresh of all of our content,” Osborne said. “We’ve done some cool webinars, including dealing with the  COVID-19 world, and online demand generation will be increasingly important. We just did one with some Amazon solution providers  along with Amazon. Now, we have this event-in-a-box concept we make available to partners.”

The partner portal has also been modernized and significantly upgraded.

“We had one before, but it was very basic,” Osborne said. “We upgraded with a third-party provider and dramatically improved it. Now it’s very specific to partner types, giving a Technology Partner, for example, a different experience than an SI.”

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