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Barracuda Increases Requirements and Benefits for Top-Tier Partners

The new rules, which come in response to increased demand for cloud security expertise, pay resellers in the highest level of Barracuda’s partner program 10 to 30% more margin but require them to clear higher revenue and certification bars in return. By Rich Freeman

Barracuda Networks has revamped its partner program to deliver more benefits to top-tier partners while simultaneously raising the requirements to qualify for those rewards.

The changes, which have been rolled out to Barracuda’s channel in recent days, come in response to rapid cloud computing adoption among businesses of all sizes. Securing cloud-based systems calls for capabilities that many traditional resellers lack at present, according to Ezra Hookano, Barracuda’s vice president of channels.

“Email security, firewall security, and public cloud security now require more than just someone shipping a box or emailing a license,” he says. “In response to this, Barracuda is focusing more efforts on those partners who can provide higher levels of expertise, who will invest in the correct certifications, and build practices and motions that can support more demanding end users.”

Under the new tiering scheme, partners will have to clear a higher sales revenue bar to qualify for top-level status. They will also have to earn a competency in email security, public cloud security, or data and network application security. Partners who meet those heightened prerequisites will receive extra benefits in return.

“If you’re in the top tier, then you’re going to get an awful lot more stuff like increased design and registration benefits, increased protected margin benefits, [and] expanded marketing spend,” Hookano says. “In essence, what we’re trying to do is make it more profitable for the partners who are over-achieving.”
Most top-tier partners will see margins rise 10 to 30%, predicts Hookano, who expects roughly 200 Barracuda partners to retain top-level status in the program, versus approximately 1,200 before.

“It’s going to be a very select few,” he says. “But in our first fiscal quarter we found that that select group grew 28% year over year compared to more like ten-ish to twelve-ish [percent] for the rest of the bucket.”

The intended overall effect of the new rules is to shift investment toward Barracuda’s most elite VARs while motivating everyone else to accumulate comparable skills and sales prowess.

“Our new partner program is about rewarding our top partners with more benefits. We hope that these new benefits will also incentivize all of our partners to further commit to driving mutual business success through our email security and data protection solutions,” Hookano says.

The new rules and requirements do not apply to managed service providers who partner with Barracuda through its Barracuda MSP division. “Our current MSP program is working fine,” Hookano says. “MSPs are already providing the correct service levels, so that program will not change.”

Global public cloud outlays will more than double from current levels to nearly $500 billion by 2023, according to IDC, driving increased demand for cloud security software and services. Spending on email security alone will climb at a 9.9% CAGR to $3.58 billion by 2022, according to Frost & Sullivan.

Looking to help channel pros capitalize on trends like that, Barracuda introduced a new managed security solution for cloud security newcomers earlier this month. 

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Rich Freeman's picture

Rich Freeman is ChannelPro's Founding Editor