ADTRAN Inc. wants to better serve its lowest-tier channel partners, and increase rewards for resellers and agents at all levels as it seeks to bolster its indirect roster.
On Monday, the company, which sells its cloud, virtual mobility and other enterprise communications equipment through distributors and some master agents, debuted changes to its channel partner program. Registered partners, or those at the lowest tier who do not have to meet any revenue commitments, are the recipients of the most significant improvements.
For example, until now, ADTRAN just put Registered partners on an email list and sent them product information.
"There was really no way that Registered partners could get specialized training and any kind of benefits associated with that," said Ted Coles, ADTRAN's channel chief.
But thanks to the culmination of about two years' worth of investment in its partner program and personnel, ADTRAN has added benefits for Registered partners. First, there's the opportunity to access so-called "guided" discounts. Coles said ADTRAN suggests pricing to its four distributors – Ingram Micro, Jenne, Catalyst Telecom and Synnex – that serves as a discount for ADTRAN partners. Second, Registered partners now may take advantage of specialization, which means they take self-paced online training to become experts on one or more ADTRAN platforms. And the more specialized a Registered partner becomes, the greater the benefits, such as access to the demo program, access to pre- and post-sales support and, finally, access to deal registration. The latter point provides for incremental margin "and some level of competitive protection," said Coles.
From there, Registered partners may move up the ranks to become ADvantage or ADvantage Plus partners. When they do that, discounts increase, as do benefits such as priority support from ADTRAN and, for ADvantage Plus partners, proposal-based MDFs. Of course, ADvantage and ADvantage Plus partners must meet revenue quotas, of $25,000 and $100,000 per year, respectively.
Coles said an ideal Registered partner profile looks something like this: a solutions provider who doesn't have a wireless practice but is interested in virtual wireless LAN technology.
"They want to get engaged, they hear the banter about BYOD and feel they have a client base that solution would fit ... but are not ready to make the commitment from an overall revenue standpoint," he said.
Meanwhile, some of the benefits for Registered partners trickle over into the ADvantage and ADvantage Plus tiers. To that point, all partners now have access to specialization and its support incentives; they all get demo programs with each specialization; and each one has priority access to support and deal registration. The more advanced specialization requires some in-person training at ADTRAN's Hunstville, Ala., facility.
At the same time, ADTRAN has pumped up the rewards for its top-tier partners. ADvantage Plus participants now get performance incentives, expanded sales coverage and access to refurbished products, in addition to existing benefits.