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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Feb. 8, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending Feb. 8

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Dell EMC, which announced it has revamped its partner program to bring greater simplicity and improved profitability to partners.

Also making the list this week are LogicMonitor, IGEL, Microsoft and Check Point Software Technologies.

Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week, of course. For a rundown of companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions, check out this week's Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

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Dell EMC Rolls Out Major Updates To Partner Program

Dell EMC announced a number of updates to its channel program aimed at improving partner profitability and simplifying the way solution providers do business with the company.

Dell EMC is simplifying its market development fund (MDF) process by moving to one Dell Technologies payment process, meaning partners will no longer receive multiple payments for a single claim. The company also created an easier MDF claiming process by simplifying its proof of execution for certain activities, while also revamping its MDF Tool homepage to give partners a complete view of active funds alongside key dates for action items such as expiration dates.

After hearing concerns from partners regarding the claiming process to obtain Dell EMC’s New Business Incentive (NBI) rebates when winning new business, the company has cut the claiming process altogether. The NBI rebates for winning business in a new account will now be automatically tracked and credited in an effort to simplify the engagement.

Dell EMC is also making a major change in the requirements needed to achieve Gold partner status, which is the entry medal level above Authorized, by reducing the number of individuals required to complete the training to obtain the Gold tier. Cheryl Cook, senior vice president of Global Partner Marketing at Dell EMC, said it will enable more—as well as smaller—partners to reap the financial incentives inside the program faster.

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LogicMonitor Launches First-Ever Partner Program For Hybrid IT Monitoring

LogicMonitor is stepping up its channel game by launching its first-ever partner program, opening up what it says is a $47 billion market opportunity for partners.

The LogicMonitor Partner Network is a new worldwide partner program that includes dedicated partner managers, sales and marketing collaboration, training, certification programs and an automated deal registration process. The three tiers to the program — Bronze, Silver and Gold – are based around revenue thresholds. LogicMonitor invested heavily in creating a partner portal that gives solution providers the same resources and tools as LogicMonitor’s own internal sales team.

LogicMonitor’s SaaS-based performance monitoring platform can support more than 1,200 technologies through a single pane of glass. It provides granular visibility into resources, services and applications across infrastructure on-premise and in the cloud.

LogicMonitor plans to introduce hands-on training camps at its offices later this year. Partners will be invited to these boot-camp type training programs for marketing, technical and sales enablement. LogicMonitor is ideally looking for partners who specialize in system integration and consultancy around digital transformation, but says it's ready to team up with any solution provider ready to drive new SaaS sales.

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IGEL Intros Huge Upgrade To Endpoint Management Platform, Preps For MSP Push

Software-defined endpoint technology developer IGEL announced the North American introduction of a major release of its endpoint operating system, and said it is preparing a new MSP-focused offering. The moves are aimed at both simplifying the IGEL endpoint management and connectivity offerings and at expanding the market for its channel partners, said Dan O'Farrell, senior director of product marketing for the San Francisco-based vendor.

IGEL Wednesday introduced IGEL OS 11, the latest update to the company's software-defined endpoint management operating system. IGEL OS can be deployed on any x86-based hardware device into a device for connecting to centralized workloads, either on-premises or in the cloud, O'Farrell told CRN. Tens of thousands of endpoints can be managed by the company's Universal Management Suite, or UMS, he said.

IGEL is also getting ready to enter the managed services market with its first MSP program, expected to be introduced sometime this year, O'Farrell said.

New to IGEL OS 11 is a significant reduction in the number of SKUs from 19 to three, O'Farrell said.

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Microsoft Reports Uptick In Partner Additions, CSP Growth

Microsoft Channel Chief Gavriella Schuster (pictured) disclosed that the rate of growth in the company's partner community is accelerating—as is the growth of revenue for partners in Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. Schuster reported that Microsoft is currently adding new partners at a rate of more than 7,500 each month. That's up from the 7,000 new partners per month that Microsoft was adding as of last June, when Schuster spoke with CRN, and up from roughly 4,000 to 4,500 partners per month as of two years before that.

Meanwhile, CSP is Microsoft's "fastest-growing licensing model” with 31-percent growth in the past 12 months, Schuster said. Partners use CSP to provide Azure and Office 365 to customers on a subscription basis.

The number of partners that are transacting through CSP has grown by 52 percent over the last 12 months, Schuster said. Microsoft reported that partners are currently serving more than 2 million customers through CSP.

Also this week, Microsoft and Accenture announced they have launched a new group that both firms say will complement the capabilities of their already established joint venture, Avanade. The Accenture Microsoft Business Group will be led by Emma McGuigan, a senior managing director at Accenture. The new venture between Accenture and Microsoft is aimed at delivering large business initiatives for enterprise-level customers around the world.

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Check Point Shifts Partner Tiering Model To Boost Client Engagement

Check Point Software Technologies plans to adopt activity-based partner program tiering criteria that reward solution providers for taking actions that strengthen their bond with customers. The platform security vendor said that, beginning in 2020, partners will be assigned to three tiers based on how frequently they engage in activities like meeting with customer C-suite executives, conducting product demos, or carrying out joint planning sessions with Check Point.

The activity model will replace Check Point's more conventional results-based tiering structure, which places customers in one of four tiers based on their year-over-year sales growth with the company, said Chief Customer Officer Dan Yerushalmi. Partners will start earnings points April 2 for engaging in predetermined activities, Yerushalmi said, and will be assigned to their appropriate tier in January 2020.

Solution providers will earn points by doing activities that Check Point believes drive customer spending and engagement. Sales Planning Manager Jeroen Moshe said channel partners can receive points for meeting with customers; bringing them to road shows and events; doing product demos or checkups; conducting joint planning sessions with Check Point account reps; and enrolling in training courses.

Within each criteria, Moshe said certain activities will be worth more points than others. For instance, Moshe said meetings with prospective customers or client C-suite executives will be worth more points than meeting with an existing customer or someone in the IT department.

 

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