Bull`s Eye Awards: Partner Program of the Year (Class B)
Few companies have seen the kind of explosive growth in channel efforts that storage system vendor Isilon Systems has experienced over the past year. In part because of its new Preferred Partner Program, the Seattle-based vendor achieved significant growth while maintaining gross margins close to 57 percent, a ringing endorsement of Isilon's partner strategies.
Indeed, the goal for Isilon has been elegantly simple: Make more money.
"There's a better margin opportunity for selling our products versus competitors," says channel veteran Leonard Iventosch, Isilon's vice president of global channels and OEM. "Our partners are making on average more than double what [competitors'] partners are."
Iventosch, who came to Isilon from NetApp late last year, crafted the Preferred Partner Program, which now contributes close to 60 percent of Isilon's total revenues. Isilon's focus on verticals such as media and entertainment, bioinformatics, Internet, and electronic design automation gives partners with expertise in these industries the support they need to manage deep integration into such accounts, and take the lead in future selling opportunities.
Isilon's Preferred Partner Program is built on two core pillars: a pricing discount model that eliminates discounting weighted toward direct sales and lets resellers set their own discounts and maintain 20 to 30 percent margins; and a professional service opportunity that encourages partners to participate in a channel-driven professional services model.
Isilon's Preferred Partner Program is divided into three tiers—Platinum, Gold and Silver, which offer a variety of discounts, MDF, support and training, depending on the partners’ level of commitment and expertise with Isilon offerings.
Because of its consistent, predictable partner-centric business proposition backed by a direct sales force trained and incented to drive revenue through the channel, Isilon's Preferred Partner Program has earned the Channel Insider Challenger Bull's Eye Award for Partner Program of the Year for companies less than $1 billion in size.