2017 Channel Acceleration Awards - Part 2

ESG-Channel-Acceleration-Award-2017.pngOK, we’re back… If you are just joining this series, you can check out the previous post and award winners here! If you are back for more, here we go...

As a reminder, we call these the ESG Channel Acceleration Awards. Why? For everyone in the IT channel, success is all about velocity—quickly "sourcing, selling, and satisfying" clients. How well vendors help partners to solve customer problems quickly and efficiently will determine their joint success. This is why we love it when we find channel leaders who architect their programs and execution to deliver "transaction velocity." 


Full disclosure redux: This is not a rigorous survey, but rather a way to identify a group of vendors/channel teams (not necessarily regular ESG clients) that I have been watching and that stand out.  The Channel Acceleration Awards look to recognize best practices coupled with execution, pure and simple, and I hope you find the underlying aspects compelling as well.

Below is the second wave of winners. Any and all feedback is welcome!


Channel Acceleration Program Evolution Winner: Digital Guardian (Synergy Program)


Strategies and Actions:

  • Launched its Synergy Channel Program in 2014.
  • Strong direct sales team in place and while Channel-focused outside of US, currently sell only 45% through the Channel in NA primarily by a fulfillment model.
  • Synergy Program investments made in 2016 to support the channel globally.
  • Comprehensive changes planned in 2017 to move to a truly partner-led business.
    • Incorporated feedback from top partners.
    • Creating or revamping all elements of the channel program to create a best-in-class partner value proposition.
    • Investments in Organization, Technical Training, Sales Enablement, MDF, and Channel Operations to both support its current partner base, and identify high-potential partners.


Channel Acceleration Impact:


These investments will change the dynamic between DG and its partners, increasing overall size and number of transactions. The combination of improved rewards and end-to-end enablement and support during the selling process, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, will allow forward-looking partners to be more aggressive in promoting what is already a strong product offering.


All-star Revenue Driver Winner: Pure Storage (Pure Storage Partner Program)

Strategy and Actions:

  • Have a strong position based on the technology/timing leap to all-flash.
  • Core strategy has been to invest to achieve rapid market share growth.
  • Designed a high-growth, high velocity program built around partners (100% Partner Focused).
  • Innovative customer programs like Evergreen Storage Model and "Forever Flash" provide options.
  • Most importantly they have established a firm execution leap in terms of overall "ease of doing business" (EODB)
  • As reported by Pure partners this includes:
    • Field team drives net-new opportunities to partners.
    • Field teams stay engaged with full sell-with motions.
    • Created award-winning Pure "On The Go"
      Mobile App.
      • Partner enablement to start and close a deal quickly.
      • Configure/price/quote deals on the fly.
      • Access to data sheets and point of sales tools "just in time."

Channel Acceleration Impact:

It’s all about speed at the point of attack—focused offerings available in different financial models, pulled through the process by a combination of marketing and sales support, with a wrapper of business tools and an innovative mobile app that pulls it all together to accelerate the sales cycle and close more deals more quickly. Everything in this all-star program is designed to drive revenue growth and market share for partners ready for the challenge—and they love it.


Cloud Channel Acceleration Award Winner: Microsoft (Microsoft Partner Network)

Strategies and Actions:

  • Microsoft continues to drive the transformation of its reselling partner base and ISVs toward cloud vs. on-prem, in a positive way.
  • Consistent strategic/product/program announcements at Worldwide Partner Conference (now called Microsoft Inspire).
  • Cloud solution provider (CSP) program features and benefits clarified and simplified across all partner types.
  • Continuing alliance relationships with leading tier-1 vendors (HPE, Citrix, VMware, etc.).
  • Most importantly… and recently
    • Reorganized to form the "One Commercial Partner" group to focus energy (ISV, Enterprise Partner, and Worldwide Partner Group teams).
    • Formed new unit, Microsoft Digital, to support partners and focus on accelerating cloud services sales in the channel.
    • Moved from a pay-as-you-go Azure direct sales policy. With new Microsoft Products & Services Agreement (MPSA), customers purchasing Azure pay-as-you-go will be "guided to" CSPs.

Channel Acceleration Impact:

The partner community will now gain more net-new customers quickly and they can seamlessly bundle the licensing of products and services from MSFT with their own high-value services.  These changes, along with the consistency that defines the MSFT long-term commitment to its thousands of reselling partners contrast sharply with recent moves from hyper-scaler/public cloud competitors that are decidedly less partner-friendly. All of this will reaffirm partner loyalty and investment/commitment.


Well that about wraps it up for this edition of ESG Channel Acceleration Awards, where we have covered winners in Cloud Services, Revenue Growth, and Program Evolution. Certainly, there lots of other dedicated channel pros out there at tech companies that are executing on their vision and working hard to earn more than their fair share of time and attention from the best partners. We are looking forward to meeting them as well.


Congratulations to all the ESG Channel Acceleration award winners! Our awards are subjective, of course, but I truly believe these are companies doing great things and were worth a look into how and why. There will be more to come later this year, and I can’t wait for the announcements, changes, and surprises that a lively 2017 will bring!

Topics: Channel