FireMon refreshes partner program to better reward top partners

Network security policy management vendor FireMon has announced a revamp of their Ignite Partner Program, to provide a refresh for a program that needed updating in several ways.

“There are a couple reasons why we changed it,” said Andrew Warren, FireMon’s VP of Global Channel Sales. “One relates to time and the company’s growth. As the company has grown, we haven’t updated the program. The partner tiers and thresholds were not where they should have been for the size of the organization that we are. We have new revenue tiers in the new program, which are important to reward partners who are investing with us. In the old program, it wasn’t hard to move up tiers with a couple of transactions. It was time for a refresh.”

The old program had three tiers – Authorized, Gold and Platinum – and so does the new one, but the definition of the tiers has been changed, and support for the top ones has been enhanced.

“The tiers now have higher revenue requirements,” Warren stated. “We have also made enhancements around the specifics of support that we provide to our top two tiers. We have added very specific marketing commitments. We have always supported marketing, but it had been more ad hoc in the past. There is now more rigor around it. Business plans, which were more optional in the past, have also been made more structured.” Additional dedicated support has also been provided for the Platinum tier, including one-to-one account-based sales and marketing.

Another major change is the modification of the deal registration program to cover subscription based opportunity.

“The program reflected the fact that we were much more of a traditional license mode,” Warren said. “However, as more customers move to the subscription model, remodelling that was important. A year ago, we didn’t have that much of a need for it, but it is now a significant part of our business. The majority of deal registrations that come in now are through subscription.”

The key, Warren said, is making subscription-based deal registrations attractive to partners.

“As we pivot more to a subscription model, it was important to ensure that partner profitability stay high,” he noted. “It’s now more profitable to sell subscription software.”

Other programmatic enhancements include an enhancement of the partner SPIFF program to include sales engineers, and the updating of their technical training, following a similar refresh of their sales material collateral last year.

“We have also added new cobranded marketing materials to our portal, which are easily available through new self-service features,” Warren said.

Warren indicated that FireMon’s channel ecosystem consists of between 100 and 300 partners who can considered to be active and strong. They have a 100% channel Go-to-Market model, with partners in each tier receiving country-specific support.

“We also play very well with the strategic ecosystem, and continue to add new ecosystem partners there on a regular basis,” he added.