The new program has been simplified, reducing the number of tiers, and while benefits for top tier partners have been increased, it is also now easier for new partners to enter the program
Today, high performance data platform provider WEKA, which is rebranding itself from WekaIO, is announcing the launch of its new global channel partner program. WEKA had a partner program in place before, and they also had previously adjusted their Go-to-Market strategy to a partner-first sales strategy. What they have done now is reorient the program somewhat around AI and machine learning, and provide partners with toolkit and other enablement assets to make the program simpler and more profitable.
WEKA has always offered high performance scalable parallel file storage for data-intensive workloads through a software-defined, hybrid cloud, but as the company broadened out its business around artificial intelligence, machine learning, high-performance computing, and other performance-intensive workloads, they wanted this reflected in their branding.
“We brand ourselves as a data platform, and as we continue to expand on top of it we didn’t want to be limited by the term ‘file system,’” said Colin Gallagher, WEKA’s Vice President of Product Marketing. “I would call what we have done since than an evolution because we have more awareness of where we are selling.”
“The intent of the new partner program is to accelerate profitability faster,” said Jeff Echols, vice president of channel and strategic partnerships at WEKA. “We wanted to provide all the resources, tools and training to drive deals faster.”
That reorientation in what the channel program is doing accounts for the rebranding of the program itself, with WEKA X standing for X Factor.
“A big piece is the portal,” Echols said. It gives channel partners an all-access pass to WEKA Xpert training, certifications, tools.
“We have also implemented a universal deal registration system across our partner community,” Echols added. “Out of the box, it is more robust in terms of Salesforce integration. Partners using the same interface can easily submit deal registration.”
“One of the benefits of this program is also giving access to our game-changing technology,” Echols stressed.
The overall program structure has been changed and simplified. It now has three partner tiers – Pro, Prime, and Premier, in ascending order. WEKA X Premier Partners get exclusive benefits, including a dedicated partner success team, marketing, and demand-gen support to fuel new opportunities.
“It is now a three-tier system, which is simpler than before,” Echols said. “It is simplified in that the more they sell, the more things they get.
“We also expanded our channel team, which included more channel account managers as well as more technical people,” Echols indicated.
“We have also made it easier to enter the program,” Gallagher said. “There are now more benefits at the higher level, but it is also easier to get in at the low level.”
“The lower tier starts the learning about WEKA,” Echols indicated. “A lot of partners are trying to figure out how to get into AI and ML, and the structure now enables us to invest more time and effort in them.”
Channel partners have a range of procurement options, and can buy the WEKA Data Platform from WEKA directly or through its network of world-class server and cloud partners.
“For us, it was a matter of focus,” Gallagher said. “We have spent a lot of time going to market through strategic partners. We partner with almost all the major server vendors out there. Working with WEKA X doesn’t preclude them from working with these vendors directly.”
“There is great flexibility in terms of what the partners have,” Echols noted. “We have agreements in place and they have flexibility in how they deliver to their customers.”