New Pure WaveMakers program for elite SEs highlights Pure Storage partner program enhancements

Pure Storage also announced new expanded incents around new logos and their Pure-as-a-Service offering, the availability of their Pure Sizer Tool for larger platforms, and the formal introduction of their new portal with role based learning tools, which became available several weeks ago.

Today, Pure Storage is announcing a series of enhancements to its Pure Partner Program for channel partners.  A new Pure WaveMakers program has been created for sales engineers. This invite-only program provides members with access to an online community, as well as access to Pure’s technical resources and other benefits. The Pure Sizer Tool for configurations has been expanded to cover Pure’s larger platforms. Additional incents have been added for partners who bring in new logos, and for partners who are selling Pure as-a-Service. Finally, Pure formally announced its new portal, which features new role-based education and training.

These enhancements represent both the kind of tweaking that most partner programs engage in, and specific responses to changes in the market created by COVID and Work From Home.

“We always want to evolve the program, so some of this is normal evolution,” said Wendy Stusrud, VP of Partners, North America, at Pure Storage. “But while it’s an evolution, it’s also a response to COVID and Work From Home. In many ways, we are all inside sellers now, and can’t be out in front of customers like we could before.”

Pure WaveMakers is a new exclusive partner community which is being announced now for the first time, and will be available to invited individuals on November 16.

“I’m really proud of this program, which will help the partner sales engineer community,” Stusrud said. In the past, we had the FlashCrew, for partners and customers who talked about pain points, and was focused on building networks and communities, which still exists at Pure. But Pure WaveMakers is specifically focused on sales engineers, and is by invitation only, and for specific individuals identified by Pure’s partner organization. We will lean on the WaveMakers SEs as our virtual selling force and virtual engineers.”

Pure WaveMakers has three tiers – Members, Champions and Legends – through which SEs will advance as they increase sales and complete additional training and advocacy initiatives. At the highest level, the Legends SEs provide feedback to Pure.

“It is for individuals, not their companies, and is dedicated to helping them in their business,” Stusrud indicated. “They get earlier access to product road map discussions, and first line access to Pure’s product teams, so they can have conversations about customer pain points.” They also get access to exclusive events, training and certifications, as well as access to an online network of their peers.

“It’s like creating a group of elite SEs within the partner community,” Stusrud said. “It elevates their brand as individuals.”

The Partner Portal went live early this month, but is being formally announced now.

“It is really the foundation for all of the changes,” Stusrud said. “It’s table stakes, and is something we have to continue to enhance.”

The portal provides enablement tools like sales and technical resources, training, personalized marketing campaigns, a digital asset library and social selling content.

“This includes new role-based education to customize training, which is new for Pure,” Stusrud indicated. It lets partners follow a personalized learning path based on their specific role, and can be consumed online in both self-serve and instructor led options. New training courses are also available on selling subscriptions and new use cases for file and object storage.

Another enhancement is the expansion of the Pure Sizer Tool, which highlights recommended configurations for Pure FlashArray//X platforms, to the higher end FlashArray//X70 and //X90 models.

Wendy Stusrud, VP of Partners, North America, at Pure Storage

“We have opened up the Pure Sizer Tool to the entire Pure FlashArray//X platforms to empower partners to accelerate the sales cycle,” Stusrud said. “It’s something that partners have been asking for. Before, Pure would often lead the larger opportunities and do this for the partners, but we want to enable them to do this without our help.”

Pure is offering additional incentives to partners who bring in net new logos, and for those who are selling the Pure as-a-Service on-demand consumption offering.

“We continue to invest in incentive programs, which is an effective way of gathering mindshare in this strange environment,” Stusrud noted. “We are doubling down on new logo incentives, investing more dollars, and increasing both front and back end rebates.

“The new incent for the Pure as-a-Service offering is in response to what’s happening in the market,” Stusrud added. “This offering is taking off because of what’s happening in the market with COVID. It allows partners to stay at the table and sell effectively in this environment.”

Stusrud indicated the plan is to continue to tweak the as-a-Service offering and build out more incentives.

“In almost six years with Pure, I’ve seen the evolution of the channel, from when we recruited partners, to where we built up existing partners and increased their participation,” Stusrud said. “Now we are focusing on partners that have a practice around us, doing business with partners who really want to work with us and are passionate about learning about our program and products. Partners know that unlike the other big storage vendors, we won’t ever take a deal direct on them, and we think that differentiates us.”

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