Cloudy hardware biz VCE threatened to roll out a new tiered channel programme and, by Jove, that is exactly what UK partners have got.
The company was forged by Cisco and EMC in 2009, but it has taken the best part of four years to finally create a mechanism that looks and feels like a vendor programme – and it's offering rebates.
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"We realised it was a necessity," said a VCE mouthpiece, referring to the back-end load margin. "It is all part of us growing up, part of our learning curve. We are a young company."
The businesses behind VCE are old hands in the channel, and the earlier absence of rebates perhaps explains why VCE hasn't had more buy-in from more channel partners.
According to VCE's Find a Partner Locator, there are only four solution partners in Blighty, three system integrators and one distributor listed as channel partners. We are told 10 more firms have been authorised.
Despite this small but perfectly formed bunch – there are some big channel names selling VCE – the firm decided to create a three-tiered programme: Authorised, Silver and Gold. This probably speaks more of its aspirations to recruit additional resellers, integrators and service providers into the fold over time.
Authorised is the designation for new partners wanting to flog baby vBlocks, the 100 and 200 series, and as such these resellers need only sign a resell contract and buy through distie Avnet.
Silver partners must meet a minimum revenue threshold and hold VCE sales certification, while Gold resellers should have six account managers, four architects and two specialisations as well as sales targets.
There are two basic types of specialisation up for grabs: Services (deployment and implementation, and management and administration) and Solutions (end-user computing, messaging and collaboration, and more planned around SAP HANA, Oracle products and data protection).
All tiers will get discounts, rebates, marketing tools and bid support. The repayments start at two per cent for the lowest tier and rise to five per cent for those deemed golden.
Partners will be moved to the new programme from the start of October with the migration due to complete by March. And partners will need to reapply for the programme annually and will face quarterly business reviews. ®