Seven months after acquiring Enterasys Networks, networking vendor Extreme Networks (EXTR) is taking the wraps off a revised channel partner program that incorporates “the best of both [companies’] channel programs,” said Theresa Caragol, vice president of Global Channels.
“The channel partners have been really good during the transition, and they said they wanted unification of the program and the requirements, and so far their feedback has been very important,” she said.
The new program, coming out just a week before Extreme’s 2014 North American Partner Conference in Las Vegas, is designed to unify the company’s solution providers, distributors, OEMs, system integrators, technology partners, alliance partners and training partners, according to the release. The end goal, Caragol said, is to position Extreme as a “partner first” company.
“We are doing a channel-positive compensation plan with our sales team,” she noted. “Salespeople receive 90 percent compensation for a direct sale and 100 percent compensation for a channel sale. We want to reinforce we are putting out money where our mouth is when we say we are committed to the channel.”
Among the changes, Extreme is putting an emphasis on services through its PartnerWorks Services offering, enabling all partners with a competency to provide level 1 support to their customers, with Extreme handling level 2 support calls. Partners that have met certain qualifications will be able to handle both levels of support.
The new program also formalizes deal registration and offers market development funds (or, in Extreme’s vernacular, “Extreme Development Funds”)—a perk Enterasys partners didn’t have until now.
What’s more, under the new program, partners are paid on their growth, Caragol said, with Diamond-level partners earning up to 10 percent in rebates based on how much they grow their sales yearly.
“We have a number of partners that have been with us a long time, so how do we help them grow when they’ve already built out their business? We will work to identify product areas and help them grow by enabling them,” she said.
This is phase one of what looks to be a multi-phase channel reformation—one that looks to be equally beneficial to both new and existing Extreme channel partners.
“Our messaging is around the commitments we’re making to the channel and the proof in the pudding—that will be the big resonator at [the 2014 North American Partner Conference],” Caragol said. “When you start to do those things, people know we’re serious.”