Erasure vendor Blancco reworks partner program to support broader use of its technology throughout customer lifecycle

Blancco has harmonized its partner program to make all partner types eligible for the same benefits, while also creating a small elite group of 15 partners with whom they will work more closely.

Jon Mellon, President, Global Sales, Marketing & Field Operations at Blancco

Blancco has a long history focused around asset disposal, but by broadening their use throughout the whole customer lifecycle, they plan to double their enterprise business by 2025, and need the channel to make that happen. This will involve an increase investment in partner resources by 200%, which will ideally see partner-led deals for enterprises grow to 70% of the business.

“Blancco has been in business for a couple of decades, and for most of it we have had an active partner program,” said Jon Mellon, President, Global Sales, Marketing & Field Operations at Blancco. “It was a traditional program, and it served its purpose, but today there are far more modern ways, which provide a more simplified way for more partners to get benefits.”

Mellon joined Blancco from Sonatype last year, where he was CRO, and his another senior roles include NetApp.

“When I came here twelve months ago, I was tasked with assessing the changing dynamics of the market that we serve,” Mellon told ChannelBuzz. “This involved an evaluation of the partner program and how we trained partner performance. We saw that if we were able to tie more closely into the broader information lifecycle process, to provide sanitization across the entire life of the data, we would be in a much stronger position. Customers would see us as relevant across the entire Information Lifecycle Management Process and not just when the time came for disposal of the data.”

Mellon emphasized that the massive growth of data taking place now opens up new dangers which broader application of Blancco’s technology can address.

“With data growing at two to three times annually, according to IDC, the data management job gets more complex over a period of time and exposes organizations to much more risk because of the growth of the attack surface,” he indicated. “The best way to eliminate bad actors from misusing this data is to eliminate data that is not needed.

“We also have a leveraged business model, where different partner pathways use us differently,” Mellon said. “An OEM might sell us on their systems, embedding our resell and product rights and having the right to explore integration with other products. A GSI would add our compliance and security capabilities to their own solutions, because data erasure is increasingly becoming table stakes for them. A service provider would use us to build out an erasure as-a service offering, as opposed to an outsourced service offering. A solutions provider partner like Long View Systems could embed us into a secure portfolio. These are the constituents inside the global platform that we built to serve.”

The partner program structure has been significantly changed as a result.

“It’s a modern program structure that I have wanted to implement over 15 years,” Mellon stated. “We have designated 15 global partners with whom we will work strategically. For the rest, we aren’t firing any partners. We have and will have hundreds of opportunistic partners who do business with us. Most of these will be supported by distribution [which in North America has been Ingram Micro for many years]. These other partners can access our portal, they can certify and they can get greater benefits over a scale of time.”

Under the old program, resellers, OEMs, service providers and SIs were all administered separately in what was tantamount to four separate programs.

Christina Walker, Global Director – Channel at Blancco

“Under the legacy system, with what amounted to four separate programs, some didn’t have discounts tried into them at all,” said Christina Walker, Global Director – Channel at Blancco. “Now all our partner types get access to the discounts. This better services the wide breadth of partners, and gives us fuller capability, while legacy programs can’t move as fast as partners move to accommodate their customers.”

“The program is now the same for all partners,” Mellon said. “The strategic partners just get extra benefits, like a joint business plan, and joint customization within the field.”

“The partner portal will be critical for enabling broadline partners,” Walker stated. “We are also introducing a new rewards program – essentially SPIFFS – for individuals for going through sales and technical accreditation.”

“We think we are in a really unique place,” Mellon said. “We have a number of very competent channel partners. The new program acknowledges that we have to do unique work to serve our most strategic partners, but we also have to hold them accountable, and are forcing ourselves to make a decision which partners will be most important. Being one of those strategic partners is not perpetual, and some could fall out. If say, 8 of those 15 perform as we expect we will likely have 20 or so strategic partners next year. If it’s a lower number like 6, we will probably stay with 15.”

The new program features, with the new contract vehicles, enablement mechanism and rewards, kick in on July 1.

Blancco is running a 30 minute webinar introducing Blancco’s new Global Partner Program on June 14th, at 10:30 AM EDT.