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With the economy in a poor state and partners struggling, F5’s vision for 2009 and 2010 is to make partners more profitable and also make a clear differentiation between fulfillment and value. One of those ways is by retooling its four-year-old deal registration program from a two-tiered system (basic and registered) to a three-tiered system that offers extra rewards for meeting one (or more) of four different pieces of value criteria.

"One of the biggest challenges, I think, is around value and how vendors are not, quite frankly, defining value," said Dean Darwin, vice president of North America channel sales at F5 Networks.

As part of the new F5 Lightning program, the three-tiered deal registration has the basic discount level, a fulfillment discount level and the Partner Value Discount (PVD) discount level. The PVD level can be automatically gained for partners who meet one of the following four criteria: They bring F5 a new incremental deal. They provide strongbox/evaluation gear. They provide engineering services. They lead the deal from cradle to grave.

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