**Editor's Note: Click here for a list of recent channel-program changes you should know.**
ViaWest this week added a new channel program for partners wanting to sell colocation services.
The ViaWest Partner Connect Program was crafted for VARs, systems integrators, agents and brokers selling colo, and it comes with some unique tools and benefits.
“The program has several opportunities for channel partners to choose how they go to market and want to be compensated," said Christopher Rajiah, senior vice president of sales and marketing for ViaWest.
First, there's now a portal for accessing account information, lead registration, compensation reports, and sales and training resources such as videos and case studies. Prior to the Connect launch, there was no portal – all inquiries were managed manually, Rajiah said.
And, in the first quarter of 2014, ViaWest will roll out portals and marketing content according to partner profile. In other words, agents and solution providers – the latter tend to own the customer relationship through resale and billing – will get materials tailored to their different business models.
Next, partners engage via tiers: Platinum, Gold or Silver. Partner placement depends upon total new bookings brought in over a 12-month period.
"These could be from new business, upgrades or renewals from ViaWest’s ... portfolio of colocation, managed services and cloud," said Rajiah.
For the Platinum level, booking goals equal $25,000 in monthly recurring revenue. For Gold, it's $10,000 and for Silver, the numbers fall to below $10,000.
For partners who bring in more than $50,000 in monthly recurring revenue in new bookings, there's an 18 percent "compensation accelerator," ViaWest said. Partners may receive the residual of that opportunity's monthly recurring commission at 18 percent over the life of the contract, or take an up-front payment calculated like this: (.18 x MRR x 36 months) x .75. So, for example, if the monthly recurring revenue totals $2,000 on a 36-month contract, the upfront payment comes to $9,720. Going with the second method, however, means partners will not be eligible for upgrades or renewals.
The takeaway, for all colo partner tiers, is that ViaWest is offering compensation flexibility. Partners can get paid for the life of the customer or in a one-time, up-front payment. And they may change up the method per customer.
"This enables partners to choose the payment structure that meets their specific needs," Rajiah said.
Finally, all colo partners will have a designated account manager.