Digital Employee Experience [DEX] provider ControlUp has made a pair of announcements related to their Drive DX global channel partner program. First, they have made significant enhancements to the program, with promises of more on the way in the near future. Secondly, they have announced that Julia Scully has joined the company as Head of Global Channel, after spending 13 years at Citrix leading both channel and inside teams. She will report to ControlUp CRO Tom Holland.
Exactly how Scully’s job responsibilities will work out compared to Holland, her boss, and CEO Jed Ayres, who has always been a strong channel advocate and maintains strong contacts with key channel players, is still being worked out.
“We are at the beginning stages of defining that,” she said. “We have the advantage of having Jed and his relationship with the channel partner community, working at the executive level with the partners. For me personally, the next 30 days is about listening and learning. At our sales kickoff on January 8 we had about 40 partners, more than half at the C level, mainly because of Jed’s relationships.”
Scully also worked for Holland when she was at Citrix.
“I was there 13 years, and he was a mentor for the first half of my career there,” she said. “After that, we were part of the same sales team.”
Scully described the Drive DX global channel partner program as an extension and improvement of the existing channel program, not a major redo of it.
“This one is an enhancement of what was there before,” Scully said. “It was based on Jed and Tom running a partner advisory group community committee and asking them about their experiences with the program. The changes are things that we were able to adapt based on those conversations.”
This ControlUp Drive DX partner program, like the earlier version, is a three-tier program – with Foundation, Advanced and Elite levels – that offer proportional benefits based on the tiering.
“We added more margin to deal registration to differentiate more between the three levels,” Scully said. “In the earlier version of the program, the deal registration benefits between levels used to be more even.”
Advanced and Elite partners qualify for advisory reward compensation, as well as for 90-day lead protection.
“We have added this advisory reward compensation on the back end,” Scully indicated. “We have added protection to compensate our partners for the journey that they have made with us.
“We are also looking to increase more benefits,” she added. “We are looking at additional relationships we can provide.”
Marketing resources have been expanded on several fronts. Joint marketing campaigns, co-branded product literature and programs for joint case studies have been increased to enhance marketing enablement for program members. In additional, MDF, now available to Elite partners, will support demand generation activities including live events, webinars, digital campaigns and customer success programs.
Other enhanced enablement resources include more custom sales and technical training, which are available through the new ControlUp Academy. Drive DX partners will be featured in a publicly available partner locator search tool on ControlUp.com for lead and brand building.
Scully emphasized that the goal of the enhanced program is primarily to make their existing partners more efficient, and profitable, and not increase the program’s appeal to sign up lots of new partners.
“We are not looking to recruit tons of partners,” she said. “We have an established channel base today, except in some regions around the globe where we still have to define the right partners.”
ControlUp is, however, looking to build up their distribution.
“We want distribution in many regions,” Scully noted. “Before, the relationship was largely direct between ControlUp and the partners. We just signed our first deal in the U.K with Data Solutions at the end of last year.
Surprisingly, there has been no North American distribution up to now either.
“We are in the process of working on signing a distribution deal for Canada and the U.S,” Scully indicated.
Going forward, Scully said both partners and customers will benefit by tighter integration between the channel team and the broader ControlUp sales team.
“The biggest factor is that the channel before worked solo,” she indicated. “We are now part of the sales organization that rolls up into Tom as CRO, working on joint opportunities together with our elite partners. Customers now won’t just be seeing our channel people, but all our individual sales teams on site.”
Scully also said partners should expect to see more changes in 2024.
“These are all positive changes that we teased at the sales kickoff,” she stated. “It involves the solution pricing and packaging – of our solution sets. We have also created 12 sales territories to work with partners. That will likely roll out this quarter or the beginning of next quarter. It’s the right story for building the right cake.”
Finally, Scully indicated that what ControlUp calls Partner Power Hours will be built out.
“This involves access to experts that we have, quarterly webinars, and creating a newsletter for the channel,” she said. “This is likely in the next quarter.”