New, Changing Channel Programs: HP, Lenovo, Intermedia

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We’re highlighting a dozen companies doing business in the channel that made changes to their partner programs last month.

Our May recap features stories of newly launched programs, updated partner strategies and fresh certifications. The news includes a little less than usual from the telecommunications side of the house (although UC provider Intermedia makes an appearance), but these IT companies came in all forms. Cybersecurity, IoT and application development are all here.

A couple of computer hardware companies also made it into our roundup. HP offered rewards to individual employees of partner companies, and Lenovo detailed some of the changes it enacted to keep harmony between direct and indirect sales.

Scroll through the images below to catch up on the latest happenings in the channel.

Missed last month’s gallery? Take a look at the April edition.


MSPs and other partners can take Intermedia's new co-branding route.

Intermedia updated its reseller program to give partners more flexibility. The company's vice president of UC product and marketing told us that he wants to have the "easiest UCaaS solution to sell, install and support” and give partners plenty of options.

Get details about Intermedia's announcement.

HP’s Blue Carpet Incentive Program will allow sales reps at North American partner businesses to earn rewards.

HP hopes to incentivize partner reps to gain expertise with the vendor and sell more of its solutions. The program emulates consumer retail awards programs.

Lynn Haber has details at Channel Futures.

Kaspersky Lab is targeting SMBs after launching a new channel program earlier this year.

The company restructured its U.S. partner account manager team to focus on specific partner types instead of geographies. Kaspersky also will be educating its partners about its platform's automated endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities.

The company has also promoted Matt Courchesne to head of channel.

Read Channel Futures' Q&A with Courchesne.

Changes to the company's global channel strategy include a dedicated business development team for top service providers.

Partners, now divided among five segments, will be measured by their expertise in ServiceNow solutions and go-to-market maturity. The updated program gives better visibility into the company's product road map and more effective responses to the public sector opportunity.

For a list of other changes, check out our article.

The provider of messaging and event broker services extended its "longstanding" partner program to better support the internet of things (IoT).

The IoT Solutions Partner Program helps companies more quickly and effectively deliver a variety of IoT solutions, such as smart grid/metering, fleet management and connected vehicle manufacturing. Software providers, IoT platform providers and systems integrators are the three main profiles in the group.

Learn about Solace's new program.

Lenovo is enacting new policies to reduce channel conflict and put partners at the center.

The company transacts more than 80% of business indirectly, but that number is significantly smaller in the U.S. Lenovo's new rules of engagement require it to get a partner's approval when customers come asking for direct quotes. 

The company communicated at its annual Accelerate conference that it would listen more to partners and reshape its business around them.

Read the Q&A Lynn Haber conducted with Nicole Roskill.

Zift Solutions launched its Zift Zone program to connect customers to its channel ecosystem.

Edward Gately describes Zift Zone as a "menu" of agency, technology and service providers, who help with channel sales, marketing and operations. Zift provides enterprise channel management using a single platform.

Read Gately's story.

NetApp announced a set of "evolutionary updates" to its channel organization.

The updated process automatically validates and issues rebates for partners, who previously had to enter extra information and wait for NetApp's approval. Other changes include a new tier for digital transformation, the addition of Nutanix and Pure Storage to its supplier incentive list.

Jeffrey Schwartz has the story.

The network security provider announced several new specializations to its channel program to give partners "multiple paths of entry."

Those specializations are network security, secure Wi-Fi and multifactor authentication (MFA), and they all have their own knowledge-based requirements. Earning one of those three specializations gets you WatchGuardOne privileges like sales and technical support, and financial incentives.

Read about the new specializations.

The cybersecurity vendor rolled out a three-tier program in conjunction with partner feedback.

Designed for “tighter engagement with partners" and "frictionless channel engagement," the global partner program has new deal registration and a new certification program. Forcepoint simplified the program by going from four tiers to three and easing up on the certification process.

Check out our Forcepoint story at Channel Futures.
Crowd Machine

The app development platform launched the Crowd Machine Partner Network (CMPN) to give partners tools, resources and incentives.

It's a four-tier program aimed at referral, sales, reseller and ISV partners. The program previously existed in some fashion but is now "fully developed." The company says it's banking on an indirect partner model to accelerate its market presence.

Learn about the partner network.
ReFirm Labs

The provider of IoT and firmware security solutions launched a partner program for MSSPs, VARs and "solution partners."

Partners will sell the Centrifuge platform, which oversees firmware security on billions of IoT devices and enterprise machines. Partners can access incentive programs, specialized training and expert support. ReFirm also announced its first channel partners from Australia, Taiwan and Japan.

Check out our interview with the company's vice president of sales and business development.

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