American Power Conversion (APC) has overhauled its channel program, introducing increased price breaks and certifications across three new tiers.
The UPS vendor has also created a new sales incentive scheme for partners. Coined the Opportunity Registration Program (ORP), the initiative will reward the channel with additional discounts for pre-sales investment, such as identifying sales opportunities for its product sets.
APC channel manager, Yasser Elgammal, said price breaks would range from a minimum five per cent up to 20 per cent, depending on whether resellers registered their pre-sales activities.
The new schemes were designed to boost take-up of APC's Network Critical Physical Infrastructure (NCPI) offering, InfraStruXure, he said.
"We're bringing in the opportunity to get better buy breaks if partners do their own design work using APC tools," Elgammal said. "Our vision is that we want SMB customers to standardise on APC solutions. In the mid-market, we want NCPI to be designed, installed and maintained by our partners." NCPI incorporates power, racks, cooling, physical security, management and related services.
Elgammal said APC estimated its own layout represented a $300 million opportunity per year for the channel.
Under its revised model, APC partners will now be divided into three levels: authorised, silver and gold. All tiers require partners to proactively identify and pursue new sales opportunities for its InfraStruXure product range. Silver certified partners would also need to be able to design systems of up to 20kW. Gold resellers would have to be competent in 80kW systems, as well as have a strong knowledge of NCPI.
To distinguish each tier, APC has revamped its sales and training curriculum. This will see authorised partners undergo a two-hour online exam.
Silver and gold resellers would undertake more in-depth training, Elgammal said, including bi-annual training sessions for both sales and technical staff. Sales revenue also played some part in deciding which partner fitted into what category, Elgammal said.
For example, gold resellers would be required to sell at least two of APC's NCPI solutions annually, he said.
Existing APC partners are now being divided into the new tiers based on last year's sales performances, as well as their certification level. All would need to complete the required training criteria by June 30, Elgammal said.
APC hoped to double its number of certified partners this year, he said.
While the focus was on growing the skills of its existing reseller base, it was also on the hunt for new recruits, he said.