The main message from data management vendor Veritas is that it has made itself more valuable to partners. “We have done a lot of innovation in the technology – eight new solutions launched in the year since the split with Symantec,” says new VP EMEA Channels, Jamie Farrelly. “We as an organisation need to work with partners to make them more aware and engaged,” he says.
“We’ve moved to technologies that aim to solve real issues in the market. That is why I have come back. These are real customer issues, including the move to cloud and data governance. I know we need to simplify the message so that Veritas is easier to understand.”
As a brand, the company is probably quite well-known, but in today’s market, that is not enough. “We want to become famous for ideas such as cloud adoption and reducing the cost of storage – the actual management cost rather than the raw data storage itself. The brand is known, but the message needs to evolve to scaling data rather than just protection.”
That drives the newly updated channel programmes and strategies. The channel does find it hard to sell data management, he agrees. Simply the plan is for Veritas to have capable, committed partners who can grow and work out how their offerings fit into the customer segment, and which partners to work with more closely, and building new revenue streams for partners selling to commercial and mid-market accounts.
“For example, the larger SIs and resellers will sell into the enterprise, the mid-market is a high transactional model – so we have sales plays around long term retention, backup in the cloud, office 365 and aim to take those messages to the right partners and educate them with those sales and business messages.”
From a profitability point of view, he says it has made returns more predictable and maps the sales certifications to the products, asking partners to drive towards the growth areas. “Our goal is to provide profitability across the stacks – no part of the programme offers different profitability.
The partner triangle has a lot of registered partners, but the silver, gold, platinum is the most interesting group – he claims a healthy balance at each level. Deal registration has been enhanced – always one thing that has to be monitored from a governance perspective. “From a sales perspective we have more engagement between the sales team and channels, and for the first time, distribution in included in the registration – it means the distributor can get engaged and work alongside the partner to ensure the deal is being driven. They become an extra pair of hands.”
The distribution programme change has been welcomed by them, he says. In previous years, distribution was asked to work on driving the SMB or mid-market. “Our approach now is not to define their business or part of the programme – we provide rebates across the whole business. The distributors who work in different markets can find this a total board approach, and welcome the new approach.”
Getting distributor mindshare is always in the plan. “We get relevant through the technology and the footprint historically means we are still the biggest independent backup and data company, which gives us even more relevance.”
He also looks to use the technology partnerships with Microsoft Azure and AWS who are primed on working with Veritas on moving business to the cloud. “I have been impressed with the amount of work going on here,” he adds. So everyone, including small partners, specialists and large resellers who reach the sales and technical accreditation levels can move up the programme.
“As we innovated technology, the partner programme stayed the same, so now we have removed a load of barriers so it is easier to do business and recognise the profitability. We have cut the time taken to do the sales certification by 80%, and made it solution focused, and higher quality and direction, based on feedback. We are already finding that partners have a better understanding through this.”
“There are a lot of programmes with caveats and limits, but we have done two things, based on talking to partners – including putting a lot of more of the buying programmes in the qualifying revenue for rebates, and it is transparent now. This was not the case in the past. And we have increased the differential between gold and platinum, to encourage partners to move up. The amount each level earns has been increased, particularly so for the platinum,” he adds.