IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Acronis Redesigns #CyberFit Partner Program to Drive Further Service Provider Growth

The revised program’s requirements and benefit structure are designed to help traditional resellers become recurring revenue service providers. By Rich Freeman

Acronis has officially rolled out an updated edition of its #CyberFit Partner Program with features designed to help old school VARs switch to a cloud-enabled, services-based recurring revenue business model.

“The goal of this program is to help classic resellers move towards the service provider space, because this is obviously the dominating space now,” says Acronis Channel Chief Alex Ruslyakov.

The new program includes Registered, Authorized, Gold, and Platinum tiers. Placement among those levels is based on a partner’s #CyberFit Score, which rewards partners for demonstrating commitment to their relationship with Acronis.

“It provides indication to a partner on where they can improve and what they can do basically to generate more business with Acronis,” Ruslyakov says. “On the other hand, it gives us the capability to see which partners are really focused on doing business with us and which are willing to do some joint activities with us, which is where we want to invest.”

Partners can raise their score by supplying detailed profile information about themselves, completing training classes, agreeing to a joint business plan, and engaging in collaborative sales and marketing campaigns, among other efforts.

Conspicuous by its absence from the list of requirements for achieving Gold status is revenue attainment. Acronis left that widely imposed metric out in that case to make the transition from reseller to service provider easier in the early stages of that process.

“We’re changing the rules of the game here,” Ruslyakov says. “We understand that a lot of these businesses are SMBs in fact, and especially at the start, it’s very important to pay attention to them. It’s very important to work with them and help them develop.”

Registered #CyberFit partners qualify for discounts, training, and solution as well as technical support. Authorized partners get those benefits plus a partner account manager, among other incremental benefits. At #CyberFit’s Gold tier, account managers work with partners to develop a customized business development plan. Partners who meet that plan’s goals get licensing rebates. Gold partners are also eligible for market development funds and lead sharing.

At the Platinum level, partners receive Gold-level benefits plus dedicated marketing support and access to technical audits, in which an Acronis solution expert provides advice to either an MSP or their customers on enhancing the efficiency of their Acronis deployments.

Traditional resellers are ineligible for many Gold and Platinum benefits. The goal of that policy, according to Ruslyakov, is to give VARs extra motivation to begin the journey toward becoming a service provider.

“We do provide them deal registration discounts as part of the program, which is pretty standard across the industry, but for service providers we’re willing to go an extra mile and have some extra benefits,” he says. 

Though resellers can’t participate in new program benefits, Ruslyakov adds, they don’t lose any of the benefits they enjoyed previously.

#CyberFit members enter the revised program with the same status they held before. They have six months, starting from January when Acronis first briefed them on the program updates, to requalify for that tier by raising their #CyberFit Score past the appropriate threshold.

Acronis plans to roll out a new partner portal next month, as well as a new set of marketing automation resources for conducting branded email campaigns, generating social media traffic, tracking visitors to their website, and more. 

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