Backup vendor STORServer is hoping to energize its channel by announcing a new partner program today that follows months of engagement by Kevin Burns, a channel veteran who took over the reigns as vice president of worldwide marketing in August 2009.

Called SP3, the program has its foundation laid in a three-tier incentive program that affords special benefits to partners reaching the $100,000, $250,000 and $500,000 revenue marks. In conjunction with added margin benefits, SP3 also emphasizes training and lead generation, all of which came from intimate talks Burns had with leaders throughout STORServer’s base of more than 300 partners.

A seasoned technology professional who has worked for Hitachi, MCI and McDATA, Burns says he kept a low profile over the last five months as he gathered information for the program revamp.

"I personally wanted to stay in stealth mode for the last 5-6 months while we rebuilt the partner program," he says. "The first thing  I did was surveyed all of the partners and kind of closed the laptop and put the pen down and just listened to 75 to 100 of these guys and asked, ‘What are you looking for?’"

In the process, Burns also helped with a remodel of the STORServer website and increased activity on social media sites such as Twitter to increase brand awareness. STORServer will build on these tweaks with SP3, which will include comprehensive training for partners, a new partner portal with downloadable collateral, multimedia marketing presentations and even new telemarketing services to bolster the enhanced lead generation tools also unveiled today.

"We’re just getting a little bit more disciplined in our approach to the channel and retraining muscle within STORServer so that we can help these guys make even more money and show that we’re really committed to the channel, because we only sell through the channel," Burns says.

Other additions to STORServer’s channel offerings include monthly webinars for improved training within partner sales teams, as well as the introduction of the new STORServer Microsite. These pop-up sites offer partners a way to link to STORServer collateral continuously updated by the vendor without referring them all the way back to STORServer’s main web site.

"When we update collateral, when we update videos, when we update and send press releases, they all push automatically to the partner’s Microsite," Burns says. "Then instead of just clicking to a partner logo and coming to our site, we’re trying to build partner brand awareness, so it pops up in a window on their webpage."