We’re baaaack! Once again, we’ve had the chance over the past year to meet with many IT channel leaders as they use the tools at their disposal—technology and product sets, program elements and options, resources and teams—in order to gain attention from and drive business through IT partners of all types. One thing that hasn’t changed is that companies are trying to make sure that they climb up the "line cards" and earn mindshare from the top IT partners serving growth markets. It’s a tough job, for sure.
Now that Q1 2018 is in the books (BTW: what have you done for us lately?), it is time to share our thoughts on channel-focused companies that stood out over the past several months – and the steps that they took that had an impact in the IT partner ecosystem.
We call these the ESG Channel Acceleration Awards because, well, faster is always a good thing!
For all types of IT partners—VARs, solution providers, systems integrators, distributors, or cloud service providers—success is driven by velocity (gaining customer interest, shortening the sales cycle, etc.) and vendors that help partners do more deals, drive their top and bottom lines, and continue to solve customer problems quickly and efficiently are the ones that rank high on every partner sentiment survey we do.
These awards do come with a caveat: They are not the result of a March Madness bracket countdown, but are rather a way for us to identify a group of vendors/channel teams that caught our attention and are doing things we all can learn from. They may not necessarily be regular ESG clients. We recognize these companies because they stand out from the pack in terms of best practices coupled with execution, pure and simple.
ESG Channel Acceleration Program Innovation Award
This category is for vendors that have exhibited the highest level of creativity with products and market approach in 2017. This vendor launched a new, innovative program and partnering approach that is expected to yield strong results in its segment.
ESG Channel Acceleration Program Innovation Award Winner: Riverbed (Riverbed Rise Program)
Commitment to a complete program redesign aligned with new company-wide strategic focus.
- Designed to broadly engage and empower partners selling into the mid-market, "commercial" segment.
- Supports a growing portfolio of cloud-based, as-a-service solutions.
- Covers all the right areas of partner transformation: planning, development, sales, and operations.
- Guiding principles of simplicity, flexibility, and profitability.
- Eliminates complex compliance requirements, barriers to entry, and barriers to growth.
- Recognizes and rewards partner performance across all partner types, business models, and customer consumption preferences.
New, unique rewards structure:
- Partners choose how they accrue and “earn” dividend benefits.
- Partners then “spend” dividend benefits to match individual strategic and operational needs.
- Total rewards available for reselling partners increased significantly.
Channel Acceleration Impact:
It’s simple: The new Rise program is highly evolved and touches all the bases. It facilitates faster deal flow and encourages building high-margin services teams. Most importantly, it gives partners total control over their Riverbed business. They choose how to earn and how to invest benefits based on their own unique business and profitability goals, which means they can invest with confidence.
And we’re off! Riverbed is the first of six winners we will be recognizing during April, highlighting leaders in areas including cloud go-to-market, managed services, and program evolution.
I hope you find the underlying story lines as compelling as we do, and as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. The next winner will be coming your way shortly!