NetApp has revealed its intent to launch a new partner program in fiscal year 2024, under the banner of NetApp Partner Sphere.
Designed to be cloud-focused and services-led, the new program is an evolution of the existing Unified Partner Program that consolidates and simplifies multiple programs into one to include all partner types, business models and routes to market.
According to the vendor, the revamp acknowledges the need for modern business models with highly specialised services and capabilities that support the entire customer journey, thus better equipping partners who are primed to capture the market share in digital and cloud transformation.
“NetApp is committed to driving a partner-first culture, and the strategy behind our new partner program brings that commitment to life,” said Jenni Flinders, senior vice president of Worldwide Partner Organisation at NetApp.
“With NetApp Partner Sphere, we’re accelerating growth and customer success across our partner ecosystem by extending their reach into the cloud and offering more business opportunities with our industry-leading portfolio and flexible consumption models.”
To deliver a flexible path to advancement and growth for all partner sales motions, the evolved program offers training and support to help partners capture cloud market share.
It also brings new validation, recognition and rewards for partners’ investments in competencies and services, and the accelerated growth structure allows partners to contribute “transformational value” to joint customers.
Specifically, the program offers “simplified, flexible, progressive” tiering with distinct criteria that partners can follow across objective thresholds.
The program’s tiers range from Approved, to Preferred, to Prestige, to Prestige Plus. The assessment, validation and recognition of partners is based on value and competencies, in order to identify the right partners for the right customer opportunities.
Benefits and support will grow as partners ascend tiers – partners that generate the most impact will see the broadest and most customised benefits, including solution specific marketing campaigns and enablement, proposal-based market development funds, and preferred value-based incentives.
“We are in a data-driven, digital world where enterprises face constant challenges harnessing the cloud,” added Sanjay Rohatgi, senior vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific at NetApp.
“A strong and energised partner ecosystem well-versed in the cloud will play a key role in leading them down a path of true business impact. By appropriately incentivising and upskilling our partners, NetApp Partner Sphere will fuel our collective innovation in the cloud and customers’ transformation journeys.
Moreover, the new program sees NetApp shift away from specialisations to identify partner capabilities and utilise solution competencies aligned to the vendor’s focus areas of cloud solutions, hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) & analytics, which will be included in the program requirements.
Promoted via NetApp Partner Connect, partners will be able to begin earning associated competencies within each category, showcasing their distinguished abilities to deliver customer success across the NetApp portfolio by the end of the calendar year.
“As a long-time NetApp partner, we’ve always valued NetApp’s partner-first approach to its business, and the maturation of its partner program to enable and contribute to GDT’s growth and profitability,” said John Woodall, vice president of Solutions Architecture at General Datatech.
“With NetApp’s new Partner Sphere program and its industry-leading cloud portfolio, we’re excited to be able to deliver immense value to our joint customers with the most effective, flexible and innovative solutions across any environment – while differentiating our business to accelerate growth and successfully monetise our best-of-breed services capabilities,” he added.
Simon Walker, managing director at Cloud Bridge, echoed that they “fully support” the enhanced program.
“With NetApp bringing all of its partners into one consolidated program and integrating Spot partners, we can take advantage of NetApp’s full portfolio to offer a full suite of innovative solutions and services to our customers.”