F5 Networks (FFIV) is helping partners to develop their post-sales enablement skills with the introduction of its Guardian Fast Start Partner Training program, a new global initiative aimed at educating and training partners to speed up implementation times and provide better customer service.

Michael Cusanelli, Associate Editor

February 27, 2015

2 Min Read
Lisa Citron director of Strategic Partners at F5 Networks
Lisa Citron, director of Strategic Partners at F5 Networks

F5 Networks (FFIV) is helping partners to develop their post-sales enablement skills with the introduction of its Guardian Fast Start Partner Training program, a new global initiative aimed at educating and training partners to speed up implementation times and provide better customer service.

Through the Fast Start program, F5 hopes to help resellers in its UNITY partner program to gain the skills they need to increase their service revenue and develop better customer relationships through the adoption of the company’s advanced solutions.

F5 said its new program will focus on four key areas of development, including training on F5 products and solutions, technical certification, professional shadowing of F5 engineers and product and service delivery. Partners will gain incentives for progressing through the program that will then help them to increase their return on investment and become experts in F5’s portfolio, according to the company.

“We need our partners to help out with the demand that the end users have for our implementations,” said Lisa Citron, director of Strategic Partners at F5 Networks, in an interview with The VAR Guy. “We’ve really seen this as an opportunity for our channel partners to get wider and deeper into our business and through that to make more money as they’re doing it.”

The program is complements F5’s existing Guardian Professional Services program, which rewards partners for their investment in skills-based training needed to deploy its advanced modules. The Guardian Professional Services program launched in February 2013 after an initial pilot program consisting of 16 global partners.

Citron said the Fast Start program will cater to partners looking to develop the skills and education they need to understand the company’s solutions and serve as a way of building its partner roster in the Professional Services program.

“Partners who have started to move through this program are absolutely starting to see the benefits in realizing more dollars to their overall business because they are able to capture the professional services that they may have been outsourcing to us,” said Citron. “They are able to capture that revenue … and are finding the opportunity to sell products … because they are [present] at the time of the implementation.”

Both the new Guardian Fast Start program and the Guardian Professional Services program are optional development courses that are only available to F5’s existing UNITY partner program gold and platinum members. The Fast Start program is available now to all qualifying partners across the globe.

“This is an investment that we’re making in our partner community,” said Citron. “Our goal is for them to see more opportunity and more margin with F5 by being able to own a greater piece of the overall F5 sale. And that really falls into being able to capture and deliver that services component.”

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About the Author(s)

Michael  Cusanelli

Associate Editor, Penton Technology Group, Channel

Michael Cusanelli is the associate editor for Penton Technology’s channel properties, including The VAR Guy, MSPmentor and Talkin' Cloud. He has written articles and produced video for Newsday.com and is a graduate of Stony Brook University's School of Journalism in New York. In his spare time Michael likes to play video games, watch sci-fi movies and participate in all things nerdy. He can be reached at [email protected]

 

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