Riverbed acknowledges specialisation in widened portfolio
A young partner programme rewards expertise among resellers
By Simon Eskow, Auckland | Thursday, September 20 2012
Riverbed has been building out from its core WAN optimisation products with a partner programme which acknowledges resellers that focus on specific competencies in the vendor's portfolio
The five month old specialisation frameworks, or Technology Authorisation Paths (TAPs), are designed to foster partner focus and expertise across Riverbed's optimisation portfolio.
"The messaging is to ensure our partners have clear visibility of where we’re trying to get them to," says Joe McPhillips, channel director for Riverbed. "The whole partner programme we launched in April, and backed up with the Performance Summit, means a partner can actually choose, does he want to go wide on the portfolio or become a specialist and specific around some of the portfolio. So they have a choice to take whatever Riverbed has that suits their business and get very specific around that."
McPhillips says the specialisation simply brings in new incentives based on revenue generated selling various solutions. The five TAPs include WAN optimisation, application delivery, network performance management, cloud storage delivery and the Edge Virtual Server.
The programme was rolled out with some fanfare: a 60-city global debut, with the vendor making contact with every one of its resellers around the world, McPhillips says. McPhillips spoke to Reseller News while he was in Auckland for part of the regional TAP debut. Riverbed has 15 to 20 active resellers in New Zealand in any given month.
The company has been adding IT performance optimisation products over the last few years, but it has garnered recognition for WAN Optimisation, and was named a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for that segment in 2012.
From McPhillips' perspective, the TAP incentives for Riverbed Diamond and Platinum reseller partners are built around "greenfield opportunities" for existing accounts where Riverbed products are already installed, but also for new leads.
"We will agree with that partner on a sales campaign with that customer as a joint effort," says McPhillips, in regard to the vendor's approach to new sales opportunities. "It’s typical sales qualification and working with the partner to understand what the landscape of the customer is to see if there is opportunity and then co-ordinating with the partner and working closely to engage with the customer to go after the new sale."
McPhillips says the value proposition Riverbed presents to potential resellers is the portfolio built around core technologies, specifically application performance, built on its leadership in WAN optimisation.
"That’s our core bread and butter," says McPhillips. "And the expansion of our portfolio isn’t moving us away from what we do best. The proposition includes reducing cost and improving performance."
McPhillips says he perceives opportunity here despite the preponderance of small businesses, adding that the Riverbed portfolio is suitable for any customer that has two or more sites "and an application that has to perform across that network."
In New Zealand, McPhillips sees the TAP programme as enabling partners to increase their opportunities with existing customers.
"I think that Riverbed is an enabler for bigger, wider, deeper IT opportunities, IT sales and IT projects," he says.
Riverbed distributes in New Zealand through Distribution Central and Westcon, which McPhillips says reflects the demand among partners for choice. The vendor relies on the distributors for market development and provides the resellers with training via a portfolio, as well as a seminar series.