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May 18, 2011
Data data everywhere, and not a bit to waste. That’s Hitachi Data Systems’ plan with its partner program, TrueNorth, which has undergone a major overhaul to help partners provide real value-added services to customers in the ever-growing demand of data. HDS’ senior VP of Global Partners Mike Walkey, VP of Global Partner Enablement Tonia Gonsalves and Senior Product Marketing Manager for Services Joe Jose offered up the details of the revised program:
The cornerstone of the updated TrueNorth partner program is the Specialization Program, which lets qualified partners plan, build and implement special value-added services with HDS technologies, driving VARs and partners deeper into businesses and, hopefully, leading to greater customer satisfaction.
In creating the changes, Gonsalves said Hitachi listened to “lots of partner feedback,” including what partners said they need in the way of training. “We took it to heart. We believe we’ve put a lot of things in place to support these offerings,” she said. “Training … is key to our success in giving [partners] what they need to build upon service specialization. Lowering the cost overall on training [makes it] easier for partners and more cost-effective. It’s a huge win on our side since we can provide partners with what they’ve been asking for.”
With that in mind, the Specialization Program has the following new categories:
Virtualization Services Specialization: Partners can better utilize Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform and learn how to overcome other virtualization challenges and needs.
Migration Services Specialization: Partners can specialize in leveraging the virtualization and tiering capabilities of Hitachi Virtualization Storage Platform, helping customers migrate data quickly with limited risk.
File and Content Services Specialization: Partners can design and implement customized storage solutions, and can add in Hitachi Content Platform enablement, network-attached storage enablement and data discovery with Hitachi Data Discovery Suite.
Application Specialization and Vertical Solutions: Partners can use Services Specializations and HDS reference architectures to build their own solutions for vertical customers.
In addition to the Specialization Program, TrueNorth also provides:
Lower-cost training with scholarships
Help desk, tech support and easy-access portal
New marketing and campaign-creation tools
Jose said HDS has seen “tremendous growth” within its channel and the new program better enables partners to sell and distribute services. “We provide a delivery guide and delivery kit. It provides [a] high level of quality and results,” he said, adding HDS is also providing partners with specific recommendations and packaged solutions where available.
Finally, Walkey underscored what he believes are the most important elements of the program for partners: “Two core areas — simplicity and alignment. [We focused on] how to get them in a more streamlined structure [and] assimilate the information. Improving revenue and time to profit while enhancing the ability to become a trust adviser [was key],” he said.
Data is booming, and lots of companies including EMC and Gluster have been making enhancements to their partner programs to lure new partners and keep their current ones relevant and happy. We’ll be sure to track them all.
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