**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of recent channel-program changes you should know.**
By Edward Gately
Flash-storage services company Nimble Storage on Wednesday launched a new global channel program that enables and rewards partners that resell the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform.
The Nimble Storage Partner Program includes three certification levels – Gold, Silver and Bronze – in addition to incentives and enablement tools; also, Nimble is offering programs that complement its alliance partners, including Cisco and VMware, to create strategic selling opportunities for joint partners.
Al Da Costa, Nimble Storage’s director of worldwide channels GTM strategy and marketing, tells Channel Partners that launching a partner program “really shows the maturity of your company,” and that it gives “regional players an equal playing field to play with the big guys.”
The new program is designed to enhance Nimble partners’ business opportunities and increase the value partners deliver to joint customers, he said.
“It’s a pretty big deal for us,” Da Costa said. “We’re really excited about it and I think we’ve done all the right things. We’ve tried to make it as simple as we could for the partner, and at the same time we wanted enough weight there to where … they would be interested.”
Last month, the company announced it had surpassed the 5,000-customer benchmark.
Nimble anticipates that about 20 of its partners will be certified gold, 25 will be silver and 50 will be bronze, Da Costa said. These are partners that are selling multiple Nimble Storage services and the goal is to reward them, he said.
Each certification level represents the channel partner’s accreditations and demonstrated success in selling Nimble storage services. Certified partners are positioned to win new customer accounts, drive growth for their business and differentiate their company from competitors, he said.
Depending on certification level, Nimble will provide enhanced resources such as on-demand demonstrations, networking opportunities at local and national events, and branded marketing materials to increase awareness and engagement.
Incentives offer inclusion in the Nimble Loyalty Incentive Program, an allotment of marketing development funds available to gold-and silver-certified partners. Also, partners are provided targeted sales performance incentive funds, a trade in program that allows partners to replace older storage units with the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform, provides discounts on not-for-resale equipment used for lab and demonstration purposes, and rewards partners with discounts for new sales opportunities.
In addition, Nimble has launched a partner mobile application, a downloadable application that includes information found on its partner portal, a centralized repository for all partner-focused content, including sales and marketing tools, deal registration and technical specifications for Nimble solutions.
For partners to embrace and learn about the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform, Nimble is providing free online training courses through Nimble University. Its partner webinar series will enable partners to learn about the latest offerings, and provide feedback based on field experiences.