Accelerate Partner Success with Subscription Services, Modern Program

Partners must adapt and expand STaaS services to build a flexible data storage platform to address future needs.

Wendy Stusrud, VP, Global Partner Sales

May 22, 2024

4 Min Read
Subscription services
Fida Olga/Shutterstock

Today's data storage should be uncomplicated, seamless and flexible. We shouldn't be OK with any downtime, no matter the reason, and our business data should be protected at every turn. Business leaders should be empowered to accelerate business outcomes and data analysis that can speed their business growth. For channel partners to make all this a reality for their customers, it's important to lead with the right solution.

Many channel partners are now leading with a data storage platform that has modern data analytics, AI solutions and data protection built in with the same architecture as the platform and delivered "as-a-service" subscription. The platform offers customers what they need today, with the flexibility and scope to address tomorrow.

The Right Path to Power a Competitive Edge

Partners that offer storage-as-a-service (STaaS) subscriptions are becoming go-to experts for transforming how businesses manage their customers' data storage. Their clients are charged solely based on the volume of storage utilized, eliminating the need for overestimation and subsequent payment for unutilized resources. Equally critical is avoiding underestimation of business needs, whether due to slow or rapid adoption rates. Partners that decide to work with a data storage vendor that builds these as-a-service offerings into their platform will give their customers a powerful competitive edge.

  •  They will have unparalleled choice and flexibility in how they purchase and consume storage.

  •  They will use less hardware and energy, lowering their expenses and furthering their company's movement toward corporate sustainability.

  •  They can innovate freely, and upscale or downsize as needed.

  •  They will be able to focus on business outcomes that help their business grow and thrive.

  •  These service license agreements will help them proactively manage technology life cycles to drive customer success.

Many customers that have elected to procure storage-as-a-service (STaaS) have moved away from multiple data storage manufacturers with varied solutions. Instead, they have chosen one storage vendor that can address all their storage needs. Additionally, they have selected one trusted channel partner that delivers subscription services and has the knowledge and experience to help their customers succeed.

Here is where channel partners that have historically focused on only offering an ownership model have a true challenge in front of them. They must decide if they will risk losing their customer base due to a lack of choice in the proposed business model, or if they will expand their competencies and portfolio with subscription services, cloud and hybrid cloud offerings.

If they choose to expand their portfolio, they must be willing to adapt their business framework, modify revenue recognition methods, revise the financial accounting and reporting architecture and adjust compensation plans for their sales personnel. This strategy provides the partner with insight into expected revenue, aligning it with customer usage to predict their spending accurately. Moreover, it enables the partner to evaluate their future revenue potential efficiently.

This approach grants the partner clarity regarding anticipated revenue, paralleling the customer's usage to forecast their expenditure. Furthermore, it affords the partner the opportunity to assess their prospective revenue.

A Proven Partner Program, A Trusted Vendor

Evolving a business model while trying to grow isn't an easy task. A storage vendor's partner program can be a game-changer. Ideally, it accelerates and eases the transition to an as-a-service model. Partners should receive this assistance, including recommendations for incenting their sales culture to lead with a STaaS model. A partner program with this level of support demonstrates the vendor's commitment to their partners' success.

Here is what to consider when evaluating a data storage vendor's partner program:

  •  Is the partner program developed to help partners succeed?

  •  Are partners provided with ongoing training and education?

  •  Does the partner program include selling incentives for the individuals, and does it help them build a pipeline?

  •  Are partner intelligence tools provided to partners for insight into their customer base and collective growth opportunities?

  •  Does the partner program evolve as the market evolves?

When Customers Thrive, Partners Thrive

Channel partners that focus on offering the ideal data storage solutions not only initiate their customers' journey toward transformation but also facilitate ongoing adaptations, optimization and enhanced agility for their businesses, all without incurring unnecessary expenses. This approach builds trust and also ensures a lasting involvement in their customers' evolving data management needs. For those partners willing to adapt and expand their services, the possibilities for growth are unlimited.

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About the Author(s)

Wendy Stusrud

VP, Global Partner Sales, Pure Storage

Wendy Stusrud is vice president of global partner sales at Pure Storage and a sales veteran with over 20 years of experience in commercial, enterprise and channel sales. Most recently, she served as the VP of Americas partner sales for North America and was responsible for establishing partner-led pipeline growth strategies and increasing sales in Pure Storage's channel ecosystem. She is a passionate supporter of the Women@Pure Employee Resource Group and a co-founder of the New York chapter. Previously, she supported partners at Juniper Networks and worked as a global account manager at Avaya. She holds bachelor's degrees in political science and French from Indiana University.

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