Infoblox unveils invite-only Cloud Specialization program to spur SaaS sales

Infoblox’s new program includes 30 picked partners who have already made a SaaS commitment, and will pair them with Infoblox experts and provide them with increased support to boost their SaaS business.

Sandy Janes, Senior Director of Global Partner Programs and Operations at Infoblox

Network security and automation provider Infoblox has made a further investment in their channel with the creation of a new Cloud Specialization program. Infoblox has embraced the SaaS model as the future of their sales strategy, and the new program is designed to accelerate SaaS business for the partners involved. The program is limited to thirty partners – because it involves working in collaboration with Infoblox’s own technical experts, which are not an unlimited resource.

“For several years, we have been working on expanding our programs around our core BuildingBLOX program, which we introduced in 2017,” said Sandy Janes, Senior Director of Global Partner Programs and Operations at Infoblox. “We have added programs around professional services and support. This one is unique, however, and provides a foundational setup in executing on our Go-to-Market strategy.”

First, it demonstrates Infoblox’s stated commitment to the SaaS model going forward.

“We are going deeper with the channel in SaaS, and this reinforces our channel commitment to our partners around SaaS,” Janes said.

Secondly, Janes stressed that the new program is designed to reward more systemic partner involvement in deals.

“Our specializations encourage partners to go deeper into the customer lifecycle, and provide faster time to value,” she said. “So we go beyond things like deal registration, and want to reward partners for early adoption. We have had a successful renewal program, but we will be building on that.”

The program features exclusive access to what Infoblox terms their Cloud Champions — a team of proven cloud experts in field sales, business development, customer training and other disciplines. These resources will work closely with the partners in the program to more effectively market, sell and support their SaaS-based solutions.

“The Cloud Champions will teaming with our partners at the field level and the executive level to ensure we have a deeper embedded relationship,” Janes said. “They will map out a business plan, and align executive sponsors from both sides. The field marketing teams will also be aligned together [Infoblox uses Zift]. We will also provide white glove enablement resources. It’s not an LMS environment. We will talk live and follow up 30 days later, in order to make sure we have a two-way dialogue.”

The Cloud Specialization program’s limitation to 30 partners is dictated in part by the limitation in the Cloud Champion resources available.

“We also want to make sure we get it right,” Janes said. “Our feedback from this program will help make the next version of our SaaS specialization program even better. We will use it as a foundation from which to build on.”

The program members are a mix of eager early applicants, and partners chosen by Infoblox.

“Word got out before we made the announcement,” Janes noted. “We got inquiring calls and vetted them. Some were also vetted through our Partner Advisory Board. We also targeted ones who we thought would be a great fit. The ideal partners for this are ones who have SaaS as a portion of their business today.”

Membership in the program also brings additional double-digit sales incentives, on top of regular incentives.

“These are for new SaaS opportunities hunted by the partners,”  Janes indicated.

The white glove boot camps also provide a different type of training.

“After COVID began, partners began to ask us for enablement and we started doing the boot camps virtually,” Janes said. “They have been so successful that we added this as a component of this program. We meet on a partner-by-partner basis, with sometimes more than one if they aren’t in competing markets, and do all the questions live.”

Infoblox will hold its Americas Virtual Partner Summit on March 16.