Vendors need to stop making partners jump through hoops to benefit from incentives in their channel programmes, according to Nutanix EMEA channel boss Jan Ursi.
Ursi (pictured) claimed that vendors should not be dictating to partners how they run their businesses, particularly "laying down the law as to how a partner should sell, which training and certifications they undergo and how much revenue they must achieve before receiving any form of benefit".
He said that, instead, IT vendors must allow channel partners to be in the driving seat when collaborating on joint investment plans and programmes, adding that control over joint investments and profits should be handed over to the partner.
"It flies in the face of traditional channel engagement, but vendors need to trust the partner can make their own decisions as to their knowledge and skills," he said. "Vendors need to put custom plans in place which are driven by the partner - with no jumping through hoops. The partner should be able to let the vendor know what works in terms of marketing activities, funding and benefits to ensure they grow and are as profitable as possible."
The exec said disruption to the traditional IT resale model caused by cloud means partners need a new type of channel programme that can help them be competitive in the new environment.
"Offering a basic, vanilla partner programme with a list of certification requirements, revenue thresholds and marketing obligations just won't cut it," he noted.
Ursi called for a collaborative approach where both vendor and partner are chasing "a common goal". As a starting point, he suggested vendors use a "thought framework" with best practices regarding training, certification, demand generation or any other requirement or benefits, which can be rewritten in conjunction with the partner.
"The traditional top-down partner programme needs to be replaced with a new collaborative approach that puts the channel partner back in the driving seat [and includes] joint investments - not incentives - with bold pipeline and bookings goals that make the business grow faster at a lower cost of sales," he said.
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