Partners will see rebate and deal registration improvements aimed at boosting profits for Commvault partners.

Todd R. Weiss

July 14, 2020

4 Min Read
Streamlined Processes

Data protection vendor Commvault has revamped its partner program to make it simpler and more profitable for channel partners.

The upgraded Commvault Partner Advantage Program aims to boost partner rebates and deal registrations, while also providing other incentives. The company has about 5,000 channel partners around the world.

“What we really wanted to do is evolve the existing program,” said Mercer Rowe, VP of Commvault’s global partner organization. The company started a new partner program in 2019 and has since garnered much feedback. The latest refinements aim to build and improve on those efforts, Rowe told Channel Futures.

Rowe, who arrived at Commvault last fall, said he and his team began evaluating what they had in place.


Commvault’s Mercer Rowe

“You can think of it as an evolution,” he said.

The main updates for the channel program include cutting regions from four down to two. The new regions will include the U.S., and then the rest of the world. Previously, there were regions for the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific.

Other improvements include adjusted tier requirements that make it easier for partners to move from one tier to another. The rejiggered tiers also now include a focus on training and partner investments, not just on sales bookings.

Standard discount tiers are also readjusted, bringing the tiers closer together compared to the past, said Rowe.

“This makes deal registration an advantage because partners will know what they will get for sales bookings. And they will know that another partner can’t outbid them to get their deals,” he said.

A new partner seller incentive program gives direct incentives for partner salespeople and technical sales members, said Rowe. The program will provide direct payments for closing deals that meet certain criteria.

The rebate program changes include separate rebates for business account growth and for business performance growth, said Rowe.

“We wanted to modernize some of the elements of the program,” he said. “There were a lot of great goals in last year’s updates, but it was maybe too complex. We wanted to make it more competitive with others in the field.”

Partner Feedback

Adam Puccia, director of operations for ComSource, a Commvault reseller, said the partner program improvements will help boost partner businesses.

“It shows me that they support the partner community by investing in us,” said Puccia. “This will help drive our results to meet the requirements of our mutual customers. They’re really looking to make it simpler to understand and make it more profitable.”

Particularly helpful are the rebate structure changes and go-to-market updates, said Puccia.

“It reinforces their commitment to us as partners,” he said. “And they’re really motivating the partners, I think, with this new program. Predictability is what we will see in the rebates and marketing funds. That helps us plan for what we are going to do in the next 6 months.”

Dan Olds, principal analyst with Gabriel Consulting Group, said Commvault is doing the right things to improve its partner program.


Gabriel Consulting’s Dan Olds

“By adding rebates for partner wins, growth and performance, Commvault is rewarding the behaviors they want from partners,” he said. “It’s surprising how many partner dependent-companies get these basic things wrong. Other times companies make such programs so complex that partners can barely take advantage of them.”

Giving partners a mechanism where they can register their deals is also important, said Olds.

“It means that partner deals are protected from competition from other partners,” he said. “And it gives them the ability to focus on fulfilling customer needs rather than fending off ‘friendly fire’ competition.”

The realignment of the Commvault partner program to align better with partner goals and needs is good business, said Olds.

“There are lots of partner programs that don’t match up what channel partners need with the goals of the company,” he said. “This mismatch causes a lot of friction and confusion in the sales process, which costs both parties money and opportunities.”

Another analyst, Rob Enderle of Enderle Group, agreed.

“Often one of the best things an executive overseeing a channel program can do is remove the bureaucracy,” said Enderle. “They can make it easier for partners to engage with their company. Rowe not only removed a lot of the aggravating and unnecessary impediments from Commvault’s program but also enhanced partner incentives. A strong partner program is critical to a company’s ability to scale to market opportunity. With these moves, Commvault is signaling they are aggressively optimizing their partner program to maximize their joint success.”

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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