Veritas' EMEAI channel chief reveals plan to reactivate relationships and increase partner engagement.

Craig Galbraith, Editorial Director

September 20, 2021

4 Min Read
Playbook
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Data protection company Veritas has revealed a detailed plan to increase channel sales across Europe.

The strategy includes reactivating existing channel relationships, increasing partner engagement and driving more new business. The aim is to “create a force multiplier through the channel to drive scale and reach.”

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Veritas’ Geoff Greenlaw

“We’re putting the channel back on the market” in Europe, said Geoff Greenlaw, Veritas’ EMEAI channel chief. More than 90% of Veritas’ business is already indirect in the region, said Greenlaw. However, the vendor is looking to “continue to increase that over time.”

“It’s growing because we’re really pushing back on end user customers. There has to be a valid reason for a direct contracts,” he said.

The first thing to do is to elevate the Veritas brand within the channel. The exec said the vendor needs “to get back on the map in our channel community.”

“Remember, we are a 30-year-old business,” he said. “We have very mature products in a very, very mature market. There’s a perception that can become commoditized. But remember, we’re not a one-trick pony — it’s not just backup that we do. If you look at the breadth and depth of our product portfolio, there are so many incremental value-adds for a channel partner to engage in.”

These include high availability, disaster recovery, archiving and storage management, he said.

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

“It’s getting that message across, that the profitability you can grow is far greater than just the sum of the parts. I feel that we need to be more vocal.”

3-Point Plan

Creating a channel force multiplier comes down to three pillars, said the channel chief. The first is activating the channel community.

“We need more active Veritas sellers,” he said. “We do that through enablement and accreditation. That’s more people with better Veritas knowledge, more Veritas voice, more people talking to end users about the Veritas product portfolio.”

Indeed, over the last 12 months, Veritas has grown the number of accreditations in the field by around 150%. The strategy is already working — last year Veritas reactivated more than 500 accounts across EMEA through this model.

The second pillar is improving partner engagement. One example is a quarterly event called Platinum Advantage, where Veritas’ top partners engage with execs on industry issues.

“That’s been a revelation for us in terms of understanding what’s going on in the market,” said Greenlaw. “All too often we’re very insular. That’s really changed the dynamics of how you’re engaging.”

Pillar No. 3 is accelerating sales.

“I’ve got this concept of growth mindset versus fixed mindset. I don’t want to deal with partners who have a fixed mindset,” said Greenlaw.

One initiative sees the firm incentivizing partners to wrap new business around their annuity support contracts.

“We have this annual event that is a renewal,” said Greenlaw. “But we’re measuring our partners now on how much new business pipeline as can you associate with that renewal.”

The aim, he said, is to flush out partners that are living on their renewal business.

The vendor is also driving new logo activity. The relaunch of its partner program in April saw Veritas double rebate percentages for new customer acquisition.

“If you bring a new customer who Veritas hasn’t transacted with in the last two years, we’ll pay up to 24% in backend rebate on the value of that opportunity,” said Greenlaw.

Greenlaw noted that profitability is key to partners’ willingness to engage with vendors. He noted that Veritas, on average, only appears between 10 and 12 on vendor lists for turnover. However, he said “we always beat them on profitability — which always gets you an ear at the boardroom table.

“While turnover may not be as good as Cisco, HP and the large hardware vendors … profitability is key. And that really resonates,” he added.

Pay for Performance

Platinum partners, global system integrators and alliances are a key focus for large enterprise, with more than one-half of Veritas’ business going through those channels. The partner program pays up to a 3.5% rebate for growth in those top tier accounts. That’s double last year’s number.

Although Veritas said it couldn’t supply official partner numbers at the time, Greenlaw said it grew platinum partners by 20% last year.

Elsewhere, in the middle tier, Veritas is looking to activate a number of existing accounts.

“We have thousands of accounts in that space but we don’t have the bandwidth to engage,” said Greenlaw. “We need our channel partners to help us fulfil business in that space.

Meanwhile, in the SMB and midmarket, the firm wants to accelerate growth in that space via distribution.

“In the distribution-managed space, we’re now paying up to 5% rebate for growth in their partners. That’s a 250% increase year over year,” said Greenlaw.

“It’s an investment of more dollars into directing our channel community to where we want them to focus. It’s a pay-for-performance mentality, and it helps focus their minds on where they should be selling.”

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

 

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About the Author(s)

Craig Galbraith

Editorial Director, Channel Futures

Craig Galbraith is the editorial director for Channel Futures, joining the team in 2008. Before that, he spent more than 11 years as an anchor, reporter and managing editor in television newsrooms in North Dakota and Washington state. Craig is a proud Husky, having graduated from the University of Washington. He makes his home in the Phoenix area.

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