"We're not going to create all these crazy approvals where direct and indirect have to approve teaming and channel integration," Craig Patterson told Channel Futures.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

November 1, 2021

5 Min Read
Time for change

CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO — Aryaka Networks has overhauled its partner program to eliminate channel conflict and reward dedicated agent and brokerage partners.

The San Mateo, California-based managed SD-WAN and SASE vendor on Monday rolled out its new Accelerate program. The update from Aryaka specifically targets firms who operate in the sales agent (broker) partner model. Aryaka has completely done away with protected accounts, quotas and complex commission tables. It has also introduced new online quoting tools. In addition, the company launched a group for select partners who will receive bolstered sales and marketing support.

The company made the announcement in conjunction with the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.


Aryaka’s Craig Patterson

Craig Patterson, Aryaka’s channel chief and vice president for the Americas, said his team has worked to simplify the program.

“We’re not going to hold you to a quota. We’re not going to protect accounts. We’re not going to say, ‘Sorry, you can’t go after this account because it’s owned by a direct rep.’ And we’re not going to create all these crazy approvals where direct and indirect have to approve teaming and channel integration. We’re not doing any of that,” Patterson told Channel Futures.

Moreover, Aryaka is also offering a flat-rate for all of its offerings.

“There’s no rate for this on-net service versus this off-net service,” Patterson said. “It’s very simple to understand.”


Patterson moved to Aryaka from Lumen seven weeks ago. He said he took a deep look into the company’s channel program after arriving.

Patterson said Aryaka historically has derived 87%-90% its sales from the channel. He said he wanted to see that number rise to 100. However, he said friction between direct and indirect was standing in the way.

“We had some direct people that were focused on selling in a direct motion, and we had some channel focused on supporting their partners inside the channel. And quite honestly, we don’t have enough market share to create all these different rules and guidelines,” he said.

Patterson said the changes came in part from his own experiences in the telco space. Aryaka, which offers its own global private network, has been branding itself as an “untelco.”

“We don’t want to be the telco that’s slow and not nimble and agile. We’re the untelco because we don’t have all these dumb rules, we’re very easy to work with and have really centered everything around the partners,” he said.

Aryaka’s channel updates focus on commission-based partners, but it will also be rolling out updates for reseller and marketplace partners later.

‘Foundational’ Program

Aryaka also unveiled a special subset of its program that caters to highly dedicated partners.

These “foundational partners” will receive leads, co-marketing resources, and sales engineering and implementations support. They’ll also obtain funds for hosting “customer-centric” events.

Patterson said these select partners will get leads from Aryaka’s account-based sales and marketing (ABX) campaigns. In that model, Aryaka identifies customers that are considering purchasing Aryaka and engages with them. Aryaka hands the prospective client off to a foundational partner after running customer outreach and digital campaigns.

“We’re always bringing that back to the partner community, and that’s where their value comes into play. We’ve done all the heavy lifting, we’ve got the customer, and we’ve got them interested,” Patterson said. “Now we introduce the partner to help really facilitate that going forward.”

This select group of partners, which numbers about 25, includes technology solutions brokerages (formerly known as master agents) that demonstrate significant buy-in with the supplier. They must agree to …… four key pillars:

  • Executive level engagement base on mutually developed “tactical and sales performance goals.”

  • Paying their direct selling partners residually “as core revenue or in the fashion we pay you.”

  • Marketing Aryaka as a differentiator, both on their website and marketing and in their training.

  • Acquiring sales and technical certifications.

  • Participating in monthly quarterly business reviews.

The technology solutions brokerages (TSBs) participating include Avant, Bridgepointe Technologies, CNSG, Intelisys, TDM and Telarus. TDM founder and CEO Robert Bowling said the Kentucky-based firm turned to Aryaka because of Aryaka’s people.


TDM’s Robert Bowling

“It is a company that provides great solutions, but more importantly, it has people that seem to care about the customer’s success and not just the Aryaka products and services that were sold. We have noticed it and our customers have noticed it,” Bowling said.

Expanding Support

Aryaka last week announced the hiring of Ed Pearce as national channel director for North America. Patterson said Pearce will work closely with the TSB partners, filling a gap in Aryaka’s channel team.

“We didn’t really have anybody that was working with the TSBs to create those go-to-market strategies or quarterback the overall relationship,” Patterson told Channel Futures.

Aryaka also hired Matt Thompson as channel sales director for Pacific territory.

Patterson recently spoke to Channel Futures about his goals for this week’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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