Server, storage, and networking vendor Supermicro has introduced a revised version of its partner program offering new benefits as well as more clearly defined processes for existing ones.
Chief among the new resources now available to the more than 350 resellers, systems integrators, and integrators in Supermicro’s channel is an augmented set of online and in-person training materials that are more carefully organized to advance partners through beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of expertise.
“We’re really trying to flesh that curriculum out and provide more structure to it,” says Michael McNerney, the hardware maker’s vice president of network security and marketing.
Partners can request admission to Supermicro’s early access program for forthcoming technologies in a more structured way now too. “Before, if you wanted to make a request, it wasn’t really clear how you would even do that,” McNerney says. “We’re really sort of putting that infrastructure in place to enable their request.”
The vendor focuses on potential revenue impact when deciding which requests to approve. “It’s really sort of opportunity-based,” says McNerney, who adds that getting products containing the latest processors and other components out to partners quickly is a longstanding priority for Supermicro. The company had over 150 platforms featuring chips from Intel’s Cascade Lake family on launch day, for example, McNerney notes.
“First to market is our core value proposition to customers and partners,” he says.
Also new to the partner program are clearer processes and rules for tapping into Supermicro’s global network of solution centers, which let companies test proof-of-concept solutions on pre-assembled configurations, either onsite or through VPN. The facilities themselves, McNerney notes, have been available for some time.
“It was sort of unclear how you got there,” he says. “We’re really just formalizing how we allow our partners to leverage those.”
The revamped partner program also includes additional co-marketing opportunities for members through joint advertising campaigns, tradeshow exhibitions, and event appearances, as well as expanded e-commerce benefits that include listings in “where to buy” reseller directories.
Other, existing, elements of the program, including volume-based pricing and technical certification processes, remain largely unchanged.
The updates unveiled today are designed to help Supermicro both do more business with existing partners and attract new ones. “We continue to try to take share and outpace the growth of the market, so we obviously need to grow in the channel,” McNerney observes.
In business for 26 years and known initially for its motherboards, Supermicro today makes roughly 70% of its revenue from pre-built systems rather than components. At present, partners account for 40-50% of its revenue.
The company considers the breadth of its product catalog, and the flexibility that gives partners to offer highly specialized solutions, among its top competitive advantages. “We have something like over 2,500 different server and storage SKUs,” McNerney says. “We really allow partners to leverage that portfolio to create unique and differentiated offerings.”