Networking vendor Extreme Networks has changed its rebate process from being revenue based to being based on selling cloud wifi packages and networking solutions to the customer, as part of a wider partner programme shake-up.
Under the revamp, Extreme has also added automated deal registration, more predictable development funds and expanded training to its partner programme in a bid to grow up to 25 per cent in the UK in its financial year 2017.
Jeff Willis, senior director EMEA partners and channels, said the new programme reflects its renewed focus on growing through selling cloud-based software packages rather than single products.
"Before, rebates would be purely based on revenue requirements. They are now based on selling solutions in the areas of the business we want to grow," he claimed.
The vendor added service maintenance rebates to the programme, meaning that Diamond and Platinum partners can earn up to 15 per cent for renewal service contracts.
"The industry standard for renewing maintenance contracts is approximately 80 per cent," explained Willis. "If, for example, a partner had a customer install base of 100 units with existing maintenance contracts to be renewed, we would be looking for them to drive, reward and promote to at least 80 per cent of that available market."
The vendor has "healthy and realistic growth aspirations" for the year, which started on 1 July, said Willis.
"In the next year we are looking to grow quite considerably. We are looking for growth in the UK of 25 per cent. We are launching new products and solutions to support that growth," he added.
The partner programme, EPN 3.0, is heavily focused on growth. Willis said the programme was really aiming to provide profitable growth for Extreme and its partners.
Willis said the vendor competes with market leaders such as Cisco and Juniper but claims Extreme differentiates by its broad range of products and software solutions, both on-premise and cloud based. He also said the vendor differentiates from Aruba and Meraki through its management and analytics of wireless solutions.
The programme revamp has seen deal registration become automated from end to end. Willis said this is to make the process as seamless as possible.
"Partners can now be assured that when they register a deal, they get the support they need from Extreme and they are definitely the partner allocated to that deal," he said.
The Extreme Development Funds were previously allocated to partners quarterly, based on the past quarter's performance. Now the funds will be based on the previous year's performance, and given out quarterly.
"It means partners can better plan ahead, knowing when and what the funds are going to be," said Willis.
The other main change to the programme is the addition of training for partners. All training used to be classroom-based, but there is now online training, self-paced training and training as a service. Training as a service is an application which provides a tailored package of training dependent on the requirements from each partner.
Extreme has seven gold-tier or above partners in the UK, and 100 per cent of its business goes through the channel.
"I have worked with vendors who have been part channel, part direct, and I have never seen that to be a successful model," said Willis. "There is always concern in the channel that if they find a new opportunity, the vendor will go direct. We don't do that at Extreme."
System integrator Avente has been a partner with Extreme since the vendor entered the UK market in 1996. The SI's projects director Keith Dodd said that Extreme keeps a clean channel and is the most channel-orientated vendor Avente has worked with.
"There is not a lot of overlap between their partners and there is not a lot of contention there. I think they manage the partnership very well," he added.
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