APC has scrapped its existing partner program and introduced a new version aimed at differentiating partners within the channel.
“The previous program was a simplistic view of our partners,” APC pacific channel sales manager, Bart Mascorella, said. “Once a company signed up on our website, they were automatically classified as a registered partner and subsequent training courses that APC provided to move partners up the tier were not at certification level. That did not give a clear differentiator between partners.”
The new channel initiative offers certification programs for sales and engineering professionals and partners are categorised depending on skill sets.
“Rather than just being aligned to revenue numbers and tier status that doesn’t have a significant difference, APC wants to identify partners through their ability to develop or design a datacentre environment,” Mascorella said. “Some partners are limited to being able to deliver a product solution while others can deal with identifying and designing larger datacentre infrastructures, so we want to be able to provide them differentiation in the market based on those skills.”
Mascorella cited a trend shift in datacentre set-ups as a driving force in APC’s program revamp.
“While organisations used to be able to splurge money on buying space and tools to prepare for future datacentre expansion, it is not a practical solution in this economic climate,” he said. “Datacentres are now a modular environment which starts with a core set of infrastructure that can grow with the business.
“We want the help partners capitalise on that opportunity with our products and our new program helps them differentiate and show abilities at appropriate levels to customers.”
The program will see the introduction of four tiers. Registered partners require one registered member and Select partners require one sales associate. For Premier partners, a company needs to have one sales associate, one sales professional and a total revenue target of $500,000. At the top of the ladder, Elite partners need a number of sales associates, sales professional, technical consultants and integrated design consultants with a total revenue target of $1 - $5 million, depending on service type.
While APC has several thousand registered partners locally, Mascorella said only a handful would qualify for the higher tiers at present.
“In the Elite partner status, I see probably 15 to 20 partners achieving that certification,” he said. “Around 50 to 100 partners will span across the Select and Premier categories, so an estimated total of 150 partners at the higher levels.”