IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Carbonite Unveils Revamped Partner Program

Designed by channel chief Jon Whitlock (pictured), the all-new offering brings separate channels associated with multiple product lines together in one consolidated program designed for maximum simplicity, profitability, and flexibility. By Rich Freeman

Carbonite Inc. has rolled out a consolidated partner program and portal that combine formerly discrete channels associated with multiple product families.

The Boston-based data protection vendor made that announcement in conjunction with this year’s CompTIA ChannelCon partner event, which is currently underway in Austin, Texas.

The new program reflects Carbonite’s growth in recent years beyond its roots as a provider of backup services to consumers and what it calls “very small businesses.” In January 2016, the company bought EVault, a maker of BDR solutions for mid-market companies, from Seagate Technology LLC, of Cupertino, Calif. A year later, it followed that up by acquiring failover and data migration service provider DoubleTake Software. Until today, each of those units had its own partner program and resources.

“It just became very obvious that it was time to not only merge those, but build a framework for future growth as well,” says Jon Whitlock, Carbonite’s vice president of channel sales and marketing.

Formerly a senior executive at security vendor Kaspersky Lab, Whitlock joined Carbonite in December of last year. The partner program and organization he’s been building ever since emphasize the two things he says channel pros value most: simplicity and growth.

“They’re look for the easiest path to profitability,” Whitlock states, adding that Carbonite’s two-tiered program is designed to accommodate multiple partner business models as well.

“We want to make sure that our program is flexible enough that partners can participate in one or more ways,” he says.

As a result, Carbonite now offers specialized tracks for VARs, managed service providers, and other partner types with straightforward requirements and rewards. VARs who sell Carbonite’s legacy home and small office solution, for example, qualify for product discounts simply by joining the program. Those that acquire specializations in the more complex EVault and DoubleTake product lines can also tap into a new deal registration system and higher margins.

“We want to provide the avenue for our partners to make more when they invest more in the relationship,” Whitlock explains.

To achieve a specialization, partners must put both sales and technical personnel through free online training courses. The sales training process takes about two hours, while the technical course takes about eight.

“The requirements around the specializations are not daunting,” Whitlock says.

Partners in the base tier of the MSP track, meanwhile, get sales team support and access to onboarding tools, advisory services, and training materials. Premier MSPs also receive tier 2 customer support, quarterly business reviews, and enhanced royalties. Partners must net at least $10,000 of revenue to Carbonite monthly to qualify for those added benefits.

“There are additional resources that we want to provide to those that are really in the game,” says Whitlock, who expects roughly 10 to 15 percent of the company’s MSP partners to make the premier grade.

Channel pros looking for a simpler way to ally themselves with Carbonite can sign on as referral partners and receive quarterly commission payments on every sale they influence. Referral partners also have access to online training and special product offers.

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