NetApp Rolls Out Changes to Partner Program, Adds Digital Transformation Tier
NetApp has kicked off its fiscal year 2020 with several changes to its partner program, including a combined designation of service providers and resellers. The changes, introduced to partners today in an announcement in NetApp’s partner portal, include added incentives to revisit existing accounts, expanded competitive displacement rebates and a new tier focused on digital transformation.
The company characterizes the changes as evolutionary updates rather than the launch of an entirely new program. NetApp updates its partner program at the beginning of each new fiscal year, which for the company began Monday, April 29. “We’ve built a solid market-leading program over the last few years, which has evolved, and we continue to keep it up to date,” Chris Lamborn, NetApp’s head of worldwide partner GTM and programs, told Channel Futures.
Lamborn said NetApp is also improving some key processes, such as eliminating the need for partners to claim rebates by entering information into a tool and waiting for the company to validate then. “Partners were missing opportunities to receive rebates and incentives,” he said. The new process automatically validates and issues rebates and incentive payments, while giving partners visibility into the status, he added.
NetApp has also added Nutanix and Pure Storage to the list of suppliers it will offer added incentives to for partners who displace their infrastructure with NetApp solutions. The competitive displacement program also includes DellEMC, HPE, IBM and Hitachi, with incentives of up to $220,000 per opportunity, according to Lamborn.
NetApp’s move to integrate service providers and resellers into its Unified Partner Program, is a reflection of the overlap among the two groups that has evolved in recent years. Increasingly, systems integrators and service providers also resell, while very few only focus on the latter these days, said Jeff McCullough, NetApp’s vice president of Americas partner sales. “If look at all the different partners, they are all investing beyond just traditional resell motions, because they all see where the puck heading is,” McCullough said.
Lamborn added that by unifying the two programs, it will simplify the relationship for both partners and NetApp. “We have had a lot of requests from new partners, some partners focused purely around cloud solutions or focused primarily around HCI solutions, who are wanting to join the NetApp Unified Partner Program and start to earn the benefits [as resellers do],” Lamborn said.
“We’ve changed the entry points, so that the certification requirements and the business requirements are now much broader,” he added. “The relevance of whether you’re coming in, based on traditional storage, based around HCI or based around the cloud, or even within the ‘as-a service’ certification, you’re able to benefit within that.”
John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems, a NetApp partner, welcomed…