Networking vendor has Zyxel has launched a new partner programme that replaces an overcomplicated predecessor and is more tailored towards solutions-led partners, according to head of UK channel Peter Hannah.
Hannah joined Zyxel in September last year to overhaul the vendor's channel structure and quickly led a rebrand to shift the company's focus more to solutions, rather than concentrating on volume sales.
Hannah said at the time that a new channel programme was set to follow and this has now launched. It scraps the previous system which Hannah said was hard to understand and didn't reward partners sufficiently.
"We've changed the focus more towards solutions and rolled out new stuff like Nebula as well, which is the cloud platform, so the partner programme is more of another step in that evolution of the new Zyxel," he said. "The old programme doesn't really align to the new values, the tone of voice we have now and the solutions outlook.
"I have to say I don't completely understand the old programme and it's difficult for partners to understand it as well which is one of the reasons to change it. You earned points based on the products you bought but it was based on frequency of purchasing throughout the year and it just became very complicated.
"You cashed those points in against prizes like kettles and TVs and so on, so it was a loyalty points-type scheme, and to be honest it didn't excite very many partners and it didn't really incentivise them to grow their business."
The new programme provides upfront discounts to partners selling SMB and solutions products from the upper part of Zyxel's portfolio.
It is broken into three tiers - Ally, Silver and Gold - with each tier providing five per cent, eight per cent, and 12 per cent discount respectively.
Points are awarded for each product category sold and when certain thresholds are met the partner can move up into the next tier and receive greater discount.
Three points, for example, are awarded for selling solutions like managed switches; while cloud products bring in the maximum five points.
Over a 12-month period gaining 100 points will earn a partner Silver status, while the Gold threshold is 700 points.
"What we want to do is incentive our partners to grow their business by investing in Zyxel, and us investing in them," Hannah said. "Changing the rewards structure is really critical in encouraging partners to invest in solutions and not just reward partners who do volume.
"I've been in organisations where if you sell a lot of products but don't have any engagement you're a Gold partner, and that doesn't make an awful lot of sense.
"I'm very much more interested in partners who do smaller repeatable solutions than I am in partners who do one product X number of times."
Stewart Maynard, operations director at Zyxel Gold partner Inspired Dwellings, said the new programme is better at rewarding and putting faith in partners than its predecessor.
"I like the old programme - some of the points-based rewards for resellers were very good - but one of the things I said when that programme was launched was ‘this is great, but it would be nice if we could have some extra discount on the products when we need it for price support'," he said.
"It's better to have upfront discount versus having to wait for other bits and pieces [in order to get the discount].
"The second thing I've taken from the new programme is being rewarded for being faithful to the brand. As a business we've sold Zyxel for three of four years now and it's our go-to product for everything we do, so it's nice to be rewarded more so than on the old programme."
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