Morpheus Data doubling channel investment as partner network continues to expand

Morpheus Data, which has seen growth in the scale of their channel business and the level of partner involvement, is introducing a range of new incents, aimed at both partner companies and engineers.

Brad Parks, Morpheus Data’s CMO

Today, Morpheus Data, which makes a hybrid cloud management and application infrastructure automation and orchestration engine, is announcing a significant ramp-up in its partner activity in the past year, with partners not only involved in initiating the sale, but also being involved in all aspects of continuing customer care and management. Morpheus is also announcing new channel enablement initiatives, which will double their channel investment going forward.

About 95% of Morpheus sales now come through partners, but the company views a key development as the expansion of partners’ roles throughout the entire customer management process.

“A lot of our seeds to whet the partner community have come to fruition over the last 12-18 months,” said Brad Parks, Morpheus Data’s CMO. “What we are seeing from them now is more partner-led opportunities, where they don’t just bring in the customer, but do full cradle to grave support, including the proof of concept, sale, and services.”

Morpheus has a long tail of partners through distribution – Ingram Micro in North America – but their core channel business is done by about 50 Gold and Platinum partners. These are a mix of systems integrators, service providers and VARs.

In late 2020, they introduced Morpheus Essentials, a version of their core Morpheus Enterprise product that scales downmarket, from the around 1000 workload level that is the entry point for Morpheus Enterprise, to about 200 workloads. This didn’t really add new partners focused on the midmarket, but gave existing partners more options.

“We saw Essentials as more of an option for our existing partner base to expand into smaller infrastructure customers,” Parks said. “For partners like CDW, this has been significant for them.”

Today, Morpheus is announcing a series of new financial incents to provide partners with additional support and enablement.

One is the addition of 10% additional back-end rebates for partners that meet year-over-year growth and annual contract value [ACV] targets plus Morpheus funded headcount.

“We don’t have a complicated partner program,” Parks said. “Gold partners get a 20% standard discount. Platinum who do a million dollars of business up get 30%. So this back-end rebate is an extra 10% on top of that.”

$500,000 has been allotted for initiative-based market development funds (MDF) to increase Morpheus partners’ opportunity funnel.

“This isn’t for sending people to the annual event,” Parks said. “It is for specific proposals to create business. If they have a plan and put skin in the game, we will pony up as well.”

Another new initiative is a $400 reward for each partner-led deal registration that results in a qualified opportunity within 30-days, plus up to $10,000 incentive for each deal that closes in 2021.

“This is focused on the channel architects,” Parks stated. “It’s a ‘hearts and minds’ opportunity.”

Another individual focused bonus is a $100 training incentive for any partner sales and pre-sales engineer who completes the related certification training tracks available online.

“It takes time to shift through 2-3 hours of online training, and we are providing compensation for that,” Parks said.

Parks said that self-training initiatives went up noticeably during the pandemic.

“We found a lot of appetite for people who wanted to get their hands dirty during 2020,” he indicated. “A lot of engineers at partner companies used their time off the road to get deeper hands-on experience with tools in their toolbox. We had over 1000 downloads of the community edition of our software, and 80% of those were technical people at our partners. They used that time to sharpen their skills.”

New joint go-to-market programs are also being established for systems integrators and service providers.

“We are breaking larger GSIs and telcos and MSPs into their own buckets,” Parks said. “About 30% of our revenue now comes from service providers. They are our customer, and they use us to provide a cloud experience to their tenants.”