Tandberg Data Invests in Channel Partner Benefits

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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Tandberg Data is looking to increase its strategic channel partner ranks and is offering margins of up to 20 percent to help woo reseller partners who may be looking to differentiate themselves on price in a competitive market and tough economy.

Three months after its parent company averted a financial crisis by taking itself private, disk tape backup software and services vendor Tandberg Data says it is looking to increase its investments in its channel partners.

The 100 percent channel company says it is looking to increase the ranks of its strategic partners by 50 percent from the 70 it currently has. Tandberg Data counts about 4,500 total partners in its channel partner program.

"Earlier this year our holding company was reorganized, and we are now a privately held company," says Scott Peterson, senior vice president of sales for Tandberg Data, which is based in Oslo, Norway, not to be confused with the other Tandberg, which does video conferencing.

Strategic partners in Tandberg Data’s channel partner program do $15,000 or more per quarter in Tandberg Data sales. In exchange, they get additional upfront discounts. Strategic partners are also eligible for Tandberg Data’s design registration program, which protects deals and provides an additional 10 percent to 20 percent in margin depending upon the deal size.

Tandberg Data recently made several other improvements to the channel program, such as taking the technical support hotline—available to resellers via a direct dial number—back in-house. In addition, Tandberg Data’s internal sales staff is charged with supporting reseller partners, since all deals go through the channel.

Tandberg Data is also creating a set of packets for its reseller partners to help them identify opportunities in the current economic climate. For example, one such packet will focus on where to go for economic stimulus fund opportunities. Another packet looks at opportunities in helping health care organizations achieve compliance with new rules and regulations. These kinds of offerings free up reseller time, says Peterson, so they can spend that time going after and closing deals.

And then there’s the issue of pricing and margins. In today’s economic climate, price is an issue for most IT organizations.

"From a reseller perspective, it’s important to have a price play when you go into the SMBs of the world," says Peterson. And he points out that Tandberg Data resellers generally get about 20 points of margin while resellers of some of the big players may only get a few points.

Tandberg Data is also offering up to 3 percent MDF accrual for new partners. And the company is preparing a series of boot camps for strategic partners, available over the Web, to help new partners get up to speed on the company’s products and technologies.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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