New, Changing Channel Programs: Dell, IBM, More

The IT side of the channel was particularly busy last month, with Dell, IBM and other heavyweights finding ways to better engage with partners. Many of those came in the form of new partner programs or improvements to existing ones.

COVID-19 continued to play a major role in these companies’ decisions. Dell, for example, debuted a new digital series to help partners navigate a difficult business climate.

Other companies made partner-related announcements during virtual events that replaced live events canceled due to the pandemic. IBM was one of those. At PartnerWorld at Think Digital, the company introduced new specialized tracks and competencies. IBM also focused on how partners can take advantage of the hybrid cloud opportunity.

ServiceNow also held a virtual event where it rolled out new programs and vertical offers. Among them is a new marketplace that showcases partner products and services that address joint customers’ industry-specific workflow and digital transformation needs.

But those playing in the traditional telecom channel weren’t completely out of the news. For instance, master agent TBI added DataBank and two more companies to its provider lineup.

And that’s not all. We compiled 12 of the most impactful partner program updates in the gallery below. And don’t forget, you can always keep up on the latest channel-program happenings. Just visit our page dedicated to the topic. Our sister site, Channel Futures, has one too.

If you missed our gallery dedicated to channel program changes in April, it’s here!

RTech Solutions' Blake Valentine

Dell Technologies

Dell Technologies partners can tap the company's new "Need to Know" digital series for help succeeding in a tough business climate. That's just one of a few changes to Dell's partner program.

Another is new "Proven Partner" competencies. Proven partners are those with comprehensive capabilities to position, design and deliver the company's portfolio.

Yet another change, which aims to improve the partner experience, is the creation of an integrated quoting tool. It integrates storage, servers and networking into one.

And that's not all that's new in Dell's channel.
AT&T's Jeff McElfresh


Partners are getting new specialized tracks and competencies from IBM. Big Blue announced the updates at its PartnerWorld at Think Digital 2020 virtual event last month.

The partner program updates are some of the most significant in years. They cover the themes of partner growth, more collaboration with IBM, and new tracks for success. Get more details on the opportunities.

Speaking of opportunities, partners have one in the hybrid cloud. IBM said it is working with partners to take advantage of this money-maker.

“Customers have moved about 20% of the workload into a cloud environment," said David La Rose, general manager, IBM Partner Ecosystem. "Those are the easy workloads. Now they’re looking for partners and integrators to help them move the complex workloads, or that remaining 80% of workloads."
Brian Crotty Fusion Feature


McAfee's new MPACT partner program offers paths for both MSPs and traditional VARs. It is aligned with the company's corporate strategy, head of Americas channel sales and operations Ken McCray, told us.

In a Q&A, McCray said McAfee wants partners to sell its MVision Cloud, a cloud access security broker (CASB) offer. So the company built incentives around it if partners align to the strategy — and it's been well-received, McCray said.

In terms of the ongoing pandemic, McCray says partners are digging in since they aren't traveling.

"I’ve seen increases in productivity in terms of number of calls by our team and deal registrations in the pipeline. Our pipeline has actually grown a little bit more, and it’s all about that availability piece," said McCray. "So I’m really excited about that. But I tell you the other benefit that we’ve seen is in terms of our virtual trainings. We ramped up our virtual trainings. And we're seeing our participation numbers go up by at least 30%."
AT&T's Jeff McElfresh


ServiceNow, the cloud software provider, says new programs and vertical offers will help partners more easily sell its workflow platform and more. The company revealed them at its digital Global Partner Ecosystem Summit.

First, a new marketplace, Partner Industry Solutions, addresses joint customers' industry-specific workflow and digital transformation needs. Second, Built on Now is a new app monetization framework to help partners differentiate what they offer. And third, a new Now Value Methodology equips partners with tools and best practices to maximize business value for customers.

We bet you want specifics on the new programs and tools.
Bite Out of Money


INAP, the IT infrastructure provider that just emerged from bankruptcy protection, is planning improvements that partners will see soon.

For instance, "we know we can provide better tools," Michael Sicoli, INAP's new CEO, told Channel Partners. He also cited increasing speed and agility, and "the competitiveness with which we move." Sicoli, who admitted "we've gotten a little bit away from that over the years," says improvements in those areas will benefit both direct sales teams and the company's channel partners.

INAP works with agents, master agents, VARs and more. Learn more about the next phase in INAP's bankruptcy bounce-back.

Datapipe's Robb Allen


Infoblox, the cloud-managed network service provider, introduced more channel investments. Those include business development specialists and expanded professional services.

The company says the offers will help its partners "sell, earn and learn" more. They also can add more value for new and existing customers.

New Infoblox sales incentives include an extended "triple play," plus loyalty pricing for incremental customer deals, including tech refreshes and work-from-home deployment.

Go here to see who is eligible.
Oracle's John Dickey


There are new opportunities ahead for NetApp partners. The hybrid cloud data services and data management company told us in a Q&A that it's working closer than ever with partners to sell cloud services. After all, that's "the way to make money" these days, noted Jim Elder, the company's Americas channel chief.

"We started to work with our partners to pass along that expertise so we can scale [our] "Cloud Designed Workshops]" out. We’ve seen a lot of success," said Elder. "Some partners are more advanced than we are. They wrap applications and performance assessments around that as well."
Barracuda's Olesia Klevchuk


BlackBerry, now known for its enterprise software, IoT and security services, will soon launch a new, unified partner program. Ready to debut in September, the new BlackBerry program will integrate pieces of the old Cylance partner program. BlackBerry bought the artificial intelligence (AI)-based cybersecurity company last year.

The company is busy reviewing its distributor and reseller contracts to prepare for the launch, which follows the debut of BlackBerry Spark Suites. That's a range of cybersecurity and endpoint management products.

Get the full scoop on prep for the unified program.
AireSpring's Chris Breving

RTech Solutions

RTech Solutions, which offers connectivity services, signed a master agreement with TBI. The new deal means TBI's partner community can sell bundled connectivity services from RTech that include hardware and data from major U.S. carriers.

Tennessee-based RTech offers partners all-in-one connectivity services for common business applications, which include business continuity and IoT. Primary internet connectivity, POTS over LTE and standalone data also are available.

Get to know RTech and more about how its TBI agreement will benefit partners.
Cradlepoint personnel May 2020


Secureworks' new global partner program signals the MSSP's new "embrace of the channel" and shift beyond direct sales.

Discounts for new customers, marketing development funds and training are all part of the new program. Secureworks partners also get their first portal, where they can register deals access various resources.

“What we’ve built here is a performance-based program,” Secureworks' chief channel officer Maureen Perrelli told us.

The more a partner achieves with the company, she said, the more they earn.

Learn more about partner options and incentives in the new program.
Cradlepoint personnel May 2020


SlashNext wants a few good VARs, MSSPs and OEMs for its new partner program. The company's antiphishing and incident response (IR) service integrates with security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) and threat intelligence platforms. And its endpoint protection products are a fit for businesses of any size, the company said.

SlashNext needed the new partner program when it shifted from hardware to new cloud- and device-based endpoint technologies. MSSPs and MSPs can license services directly from SlashNext, while VARs can resell products and services in a security stack.

Read more about the benefits the new SlashNext partner program provides.
Bite Out of Money


Exabeam's partner program now features a formal practice for managed security service providers (MSSPs). It also includes managed detection and response (MDR) providers.

The company says its enhanced program gives structure and support to multiple MSSP and MDR business models. It includes custom, flexible pricing models, and training and accreditation. Partners also get access to dedicated account and technical management teams, customized go-to-market and support.

Exabeam's managed service practice contributed 12% of the company's overall business revenue last year. So you might want to get involved.

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