Derek Dal Ponte, senior director of Channel marketing at Tintri
By Mark Cox
Tintri, which makes storage for virtualization and cloud environments, has announced a major revamping and expansion of its global channel partner program. They have also announced a new mobile app that equips partners with access to tools and information to help partners get information and identify and sell Tintri solutions in the field.
“The key differentiator for us is the operating system we are built on,” said Derek Dal Ponte, senior director of Channel marketing at Tintri. “It was built from the ground up to be VM-aware, and it manages everything at the VM level, not LUNs and volumes. The founder was the head of R&D at VMware, and our genesis was to solve that storage bottleneck.”
Tintri has pledged to get as close to 100% channel as possible in its go-to-market strategy, and the new program is designed to provide the organization and support to make that happen.
“At the core, the goal of the new program is to harmonize and build for scale,” Dal Ponte said. “Before there were bits and pieces which differed geographically. We have now formalized it all, and focused on the enablement pieces of it in order to getting partners technically and sales certified. We have also established consistency across the globe to implement best practices that are now proliferating out. These include clear onboarding across the globe, a set of rules of engagement and how we align in the field, and a clear path for partners at entry level to see how they ascend up the program.”
Dal Ponte said they have a firm idea of the type of partners they are looking to recruit with the new program.
“One thing we are really proud of is our focus on quality of partner, not quantity,” he said. “Our present partners are extremely active. We are not as interested in people milking the cow with the big traditional storage vendors. We are looking for partners to drive the business, not just fulfillment. We are really honed in on value proposition and going beyond opportunity spotting. We want to be able to have partners close deals without our assistance, including larger deal sizes that close more quickly.”
Dal Ponte said that because of Tintri’s virtualization focus, they have had good results with partners who are not traditional storage specialists.
“We are seeing great success from partners with strong virtualization practices, and are working with some who have never even sold storage before,” he said.
The Partner Program has been expanded from one level to three.
“We started with a single tier because we were doing due diligence,” Dal Ponte said. “Tiers help incubate folks. The entry level [Silver] is a minimum level commitment, but we will use it to identify key partners.” The higher tiers, Gold and Platinum, require deeper partner investments and receive additional Tintri support and program benefits.
“We also wanted to simplify doing business with us, so we enhanced our deal registration process,” Dal Ponte added. “We introduced a new certification program for sales people, and rationalized the training program.” The sales certification complements an existing one for system engineers, and both are now required for participation in the program, to ensure partners are properly trained.
The new app is also designed to make it easier to do business with Tintri.
“Partners wanted information on the go, and this new app provides things that help a partner that they can access from their mobile devices,” Dal Ponte said. “It provides tools to identify opportunities, information about all the events we participate in, access to training and some deal reg information, so they can register deals remotely , as well as customer use cases and success stories.”
Tintri has also established a Partner Advisory Council to forge close ties with partners and to foster the sharing of best practices among partners.