StorageCraft Technology Corp. has introduced a significantly revised and expanded version of its StorageCraft Partner Network designed to reward managed service providers for cultivating expertise in the Draper, Utah-based company’s growing family of business continuity solutions.
Unlike StorageCraft’s previous channel program, which contained a single membership level, the new offering includes four tiers: Authorized, silver, gold, and platinum. Sales performance factors into the formula for determining which of those tiers a given partner belongs to, but certifications in StorageCraft products are the most important eligibility criteria.
“We want capable partners rather than just partners that have figured out how to go move a bunch of product for us,” says StorageCraft vice president of sales Marvin Blough.
The company did rely primarily on sales figures, however, to assign its roughly 11,000 legacy partners to an initial membership level in the new program. Those firms have six months from today to collect the certifications needed to retain that status or advance to a higher level. Partners can earn certifications via new training and education services rolled out today.
Per the standard model for multi-tier partner programs, the higher a member’s level, the greater the benefits they receive. Top tier enrollees will get better margins on StorageCraft products, prioritized technical support, and leads from StorageCraft’s sales team.
“Our people in the field will be engaging with the partners that are going through certification and achieving certification,” Blough says.
Also included in the new partner program are a set of automated marketing tools, a deal registration system, and a deep new pool of marketing development funds. Those MDF resources are one of the few program components not tied closely to how many certifications a given member possesses.
“The amount available is really going to be based on a partner bringing forth a program that we think is creative [and has a] a solid business plan and return on investment plan,” Blough says.
The deal registration system, meanwhile, is aimed at helping program members protect opportunities from each other, rather than StorageCraft’s own account managers, as the vendor is currently phasing out its small direct sales operation.
“We are moving everything that we do to be 100 percent a channel go to market,” Blough says.
All of StorageCraft’s channel program benefits are available to members via a new, centralized online partner portal.
According to Blough, StorageCraft’s overhauled partner program better reflects a solution portfolio that has been growing wider and more sophisticated ever since the company accepted a $187 million investment from Boston-based private equity firm TA Associates in January and appointed SonicWALL veteran Matt Medeiros its new CEO.
Most recently, StorageCraft has announced its first cloud-to-cloud backup solution, which Blough says will officially debut in December, and acquired analytics software from Madison, Wis.-based Gillware Data Recovery that partners can use to help their clients streamline data protection spending by making informed decisions about they do and don’t backup.
Moves like that are elements of a larger evolution from backup provider to business continuity vendor that, according to Blough, made updating StorageCraft’s partner offerings a necessity.
“As the product line has expanded we’re finding that we’re dealing with more and different types of partners, [and] those partners are dealing with different types of customers, so we felt like it was just the right opportunity or the right time to really come out with a much more robust partner program that addresses a lot of the ways our business is changing,” he says. Blough followed Medeiros from SonicWALL to StorageCraft in January.
Shaped by input from a new partner advisory committee empaneled in May, StorageCraft’s new channel program has been under development for much of 2016.
“We did a lot of brainstorming on it over the course of the winter and the spring,” Blough says. Based on input from the advisory committee and other partners, the program is designed to be both easy to work with and flexible.
“We’re always looking for partners that really want to increase their business,” Blough says, noting that StorageCraft will keep its eyes peeled for ambitious registered and silver tier partners hungry for rapid advancement.
“We think we can find a way to quickly escalate them through the program by working together with them,” he says.