NEW ORLEANS – Imagine a channel program where all the benefits are the same for each partner; no matter how big they are or how small. Then continue to imagine a channel program where partners have no clip level to attain to earn all these benefits.
This is the basis of Nutanix’ new channel program; except that it’s not called a program. Company channel chief Rodney Foreman refers to it as a “charter.”
The charter is called “Power to the Partner” and Foreman unveiled it at the Nutanix conference in front of 1,200 channel partner executives. He positioned the charter as an investment in partner skills, marketing and the ability to bring in new customers.
Foreman’s official title is vice president of global channel sales and he went on to say the charter does have partner tiers similar to traditional channel programs, but those tiers do not carry any revenue requirements.
“Smaller partners are important too. I want to give them the same benefits because small partners are making the same, relative, level of investment that big partners do and this will allow them to both be profitable and reap the benefits of being a Nutanix partner,” he said.
The partner tiers are not named after precious metals in the Nutanix charter. They are: Pioneers, Scalers and Masters.
Pioneers are early adopters in the enterprise cloud.
Scalers are developing solutions around Nutanix.
And, Masters deliver the full Nutanix portfolio.
Inside the Nutanix channel charter there will be four areas of benefits: Incentives & Promotions, Modern Training & Certifications, Sales Resources and Marketing.
Incentives & Promotions has new logo incentives, simply priced product bundles, solutions incentives, growth incentives and access to the partner XTRIBE community.
In the Modern & Certification section, Nutanix is offering partners sales and technical tracks, self-serve and instructor-led with test-out options, how to position to sell tactics and competitive materials.
The Sales Resources are deal registration, simplified pricing, compelling product bundles, online demos, sizer tools, the X-Ray performance analysis tool, the Xtract migration tool, and joint selling with Nutanix.
Finally, in the Marketing area the benefits are lead partnering, analyst and industry reports, events, concierge desk, MDF, email kits, and access to the XPAND – Partner Demand Center.
Nutanix also unveiled new partner certifications
Is there a difference between a channel program and a channel charter?
According to Foreman, there is a difference. A program, he said, is prescribed by rules and guidelines, while a charter is about empowering people to be successful in the market.
The background of the Nutanix charter concentrates on the multi cloud era and on getting the attention of that up-and-coming born in the cloud solution provider that currently does not play in the same circles as the rest of the IT industry.
Foreman added that this group of next generation partners are harder to find and therefore Nutanix – needing a new approach – chose to go beyond typical programs with tiers and clip levels. “Channel programs in general need to evolve or they will never enable partners to be successful today in my view,” he said.
Another aspect of the Nutanix channel charter is “flexibility,” Foreman said.
“I can take a partner that is selling Cisco and say I will incent you to sell Nutanix on UCS and adapt different incentives to partners based on how they sell the portfolio of products. This is not a one size fits all channel program and it will help how a partner goes to market,” he added.
The Nutanix charter also includes new marketing tools, multi-touch campaigns and other tools that will help partners brand themselves to customers along with targeting new customers in the market.
Foreman believes as customers move to the private/public cloud with Nutanix traditional programs will not work for hybrid cloud and they need to be more flexible.
There are incentives in the Nutanix charter. Partners will get a three per cent rebate on any new customer win. Any XE Core software sold will pay a partner between $1,000 to $3,000 per node. And, there will be a top partner rebate for the best performing eight channel partners in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pac regions. These partners will earn a three per cent bonus per quarter if they achieve 75 per cent over current run rate. This incentive is stackable, he added.
Foreman told EChannelNews that he always wanted to write this type of charter document for the channel, but could not execute it at other vendors during his career. “This makes us quick to market and will enable us to beat the big guys,” he said.
Foreman, who joined Nutanix at the start of 2018, said he did not like programs that always dedicated most of the resources and money to the huge CDW-type of partners.
“This is the point. The relative size of investment by the partner is never addressed in traditional programs. Other vendors always give the benefits to the biggest, baddest partners. It does not mean that the smaller partner’s investment to their total revenue is not significant,” he said.