CTERA reworks channel program to better prepare partners for changing cloud file services market.

CTERA has added a third tier to their channel program to better differentiate and reward their most productive channel partners, and added new support to make them more efficient sellers.

Michael Amselem, CRO at CTERA

CTERA, a major player in the edge-to-cloud file services market, has announced a major restructuring of their global channel program. It sees a shift from a two-tier program to a three-tier one, in order to properly reward and empower partners who have made a deep commitment to CTERA.

This is not CTERA’s first channel program, but it does feature a major redesign.

“We learned from our partners and customers when we were trying to develop technology that continues to make sense,” said Michael Amselem, CRO at CTERA. “The feedback from partners was that the market is evolving, and the way storage is being consumed is changing. Today, we are positioning around cloud technology, so in response to this feedback we decided to relaunch the program  to better reflect the commitments partners are making in this new environment.”

Adding a new advanced tier is a key element of this. In additional to the transactional Select tier, there are now Premier and the top Elite tiers as well.

“I’ve been working with the channel for more than 20 years,” Amselem said. “We had a two-tier program before, but we have relaunched it as a three-tier program, which puts partners in the centre. We think that this will be a better fit. Like many others we started with two tiers, one for more transactional partners and one for those who are more advanced. After 15 years, we have reached a more mature level, and are in a better position to identify skill sets. The Select tier is the basic level, and we define them as building out a practice. The Premier partners have joint customer wins with us, while the Elites are exceptional.”

The additional value-add tier helps CTERA devote more resources to the partners that bring them the most business.

“This program is focused on partners that are most committed to us, and who are bringing us more value,” Amselem said.

“In addition, we wanted to make our technology simpler to consume for our partners, so that they would be better equipped to position our services on the top,” Anselem added.

One new feature is a new logo bonus.

“We want them focusing on new logos, and to that end we are increasing demand generation activities to motivate and reward those who bring in new logos with increased margins,” Amselem indicated.

In addition to the new logo bonus, other features designed to attain key objectives have been added to the program.

“We are introducing the concept of a capacity model, where we are really focused on certain number of partners,” Amselem said. “We are also looking to increase new growth by increasing competencies. We will also increase the value of our install base by getting partners to more effectively upsell and cross-sell. Those are the things that we are focusing on right now.”

The cross-selling involves newer offerings CTERA  has brought to market.

“We developed new abilities in analytics,” Anselem said. “The challenge with the cloud was getting data into the cloud. We have data connectors that do data analytics in the cloud that don’t touch the Golden Copy. Varonis is a key partner here, and we also work with back-end storage partners including hyperscalers. Partners will be able to get to a better position to provide wiser decisions based on data analysis. Partners who leverage that will be able to increase their services.”

Anselem noted that the profile now of an ideal multi-cloud data management partner has evolved as well.

“We started with a lot of partners from storage, and still have a decent number of them,” he said. “We are now selling with more software-defined technology partners. The best performers combine integration with selling services. We’ve worked with integrators and a lot of telcos who white label us, as well as VARs who resell the services. Some of them are focused on the public sector and some are commercial, but are all developing skillsets which are good for our business.”