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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

Location

333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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April 14, 2009 |

Netgear Rolls Out Powershift Program Enhancements

What’s new and what’s yet to come for the company’s partners is outlined by Netgear’s John Grady, in an interview with ChannelPro-SMB. By Cecilia Galvin

Netgear Rolls Out Powershift Program Enhancements

What’s new and what’s yet to come for the company’s partners is outlined by Netgear’s John Grady, in an interview with ChannelPro-SMB.

Netgear Inc., a provider of networking, storage, and security solutions, is ever more focused on its channel partners, evidenced by the enhancements the company has recently made to its Powershift Partner Program. One major shift for the San Jose, Calif.-based company is less of a focus on smaller businesses and home users and more emphasis on the midsize enterprise. John Grady, senior director of product marketing at Netgear, speaks to that point and outlines some program features in a conversation with Executive Editor Cecilia Galvinalvin.

ChannelPro-SMB: Now that you have introduced some new products, will you recruit additional partners?

Grady: We’ve cast a very wide net historically in the type of VAR we wanted to come into the program, and we’re going to be more focused on addressing the midmarket opportunity that some of our products now afford us.

We took advantage of a lot of disruption in some other channel partner programs in 2008 to recruit those partners. The Linksys-Cisco chaos of the August-September time frame and the never-ending drama surrounding 3Com gave us an opportunity to pursue some partners who might have been looking around as a result of [those disruptions]. I think we’ll see less of that in the coming year, so we’ll be looking for partners who are serving that 100- to 250- or 300-size customer that can take advantage of the scalability features in our switching, storage, and security products.

ChannelPro-SMB: What are some of the program’s benefits?

Grady: The first is dedicated account support. Partners are eligible to become certified within our ProSecure certification program-our recently introduced lineup of STM and UTM products that are a result of an acquisition we made late last year. All these customers receive U.S. tech support from a tier-two support engineer, so they avoid the customer service filter that is often applied to some support queues. Our partners go into a pretty sophisticated, educated technical support queue. We also protect VAR margins, most notably with our MAP policy, but also with partner discounts and SPIFFs.

ChannelPro-SMB: What kind of discounts?

Grady: The top partners in our program–the Platinum Plus tier–earn 12 percent in up-front discounts, and all the other programs we have on top of that are stackable, or added, to the 12 percent. That includes deal registration, Gov-Ed discounts, and other MDF. Our Platinum partners earn 8 percent, Gold earns 5 percent, and then we have a basic tier that doesn’t accrue any up-front discount.

In our SPIFF programs, our partners can earn up to $5,000 each quarter by selling our products. That’s a program that we quadrupled down on in Q4, and saw through those partners 180 percent year-over-year growth. We’ve now introduced some new programs to the equation to drive revenue.

ChannelPro-SMB: Are there other plans for the program?

Grady: One of the things we’ve heard from our partners going back about 18 months is they need an opportunity to monetize a services revenue stream, and we’re going to launch those capabilities this year. We’ve done it already with out ProSecure product introduction, where partners will be able to manage the license renewal process and the threat management of networks. We will also have this capability as part of the Ready NAS product line. So of the top three things partners are looking for, this is probably numbers one, two, and three.

We are also providing opportunities to partners who pursue a ProSecure certification for security of an additional discount of 3 percent on whatever discount they are already accruing. So if you were getting 5 percent, you can now get 8 percent and so on.


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