Paragon Aims to Rewrite the Rules of Partner ProgramsBy Gina Roos | Print
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Paragon's partner program aims to eliminate minimum revenue and tech training requirements, guarantee 30 percent margin protection and streamline sales cycles.
Paragon Software Group, a provider of data protection, backup and disaster recovery (BDR), recently announced a new partner program that is designed to change the way the company, and potentially the industry, looks at partner programs.
Paragon's Pure Channel Program is similar to other partner programs in that it's designed to drive revenues for partners by providing strong enablement and demand-generation tools. However, it doesn't include some of the key standard requirements such as revenue commitments, minimum technical training requirements and contracts, company officials said.
The program, which is focused on the Americas, is based on what Paragon can offer its partners, whether they are value-added resellers (VARs), direct marketing resellers (DMRs), integrators or managed service providers (MSPs). "Rather than differentiate our partners based on the typical revenue commitment and certifications—what they can do for us—we decided to turn it around and based the program elements on what we can offer customers to grow their business profitably and be their most effective vendor on their line card," said Yudy Vinograd, director of channel sales for Paragon, Irvine, Calif.
Vinograd designed Pure Channel to help partners attach solutions to their line cards, simplify sales cycles and help drive profitable growth. It was designed around helping partners engage more effectively with their customers in the BDR space with simplicity as the guiding design principle, he said.
"It's all about how we can deliver to a partner and how we are going to work together to deliver to their end customers. That is the foundation of Pure Channel," said Vinograd.
The initiative is built around Paragon Protect & Restore (PPR), the company's flagship BDR offering, which is optimized for small and midsize business and midsize to large enterprise markets. The solution is designed for physical, virtual and hybrid server environments.
Working with partners, it starts with addressing the problems that their customers are faced with and being able to clearly communicate where Protect & Restore fits in that solution set, said Vinograd. "How can we help our partners communicate the value they bring to their customers and how can we increase their competencies, while making the opportunity process, technical workflow and transactions seamless and streamlined?"
At the center of the new partner program is the Paragon Opportunity Protection, or POP, which offers all partners a 30 percent guaranteed margin protection on their registered opportunities, the company said.
Pure Channel offers two partner levels: Pure Platinum and Pure Gold. All partners, about 2,000 in the Americas, are guaranteed 30 percent margin protection via POP registrations, and receive sales, solutions and transactional support, Vinograd said. The difference between the two levels is that Pure Platinum partners are also "marketing partners" that proactively reach out to the marketplace through a variety of ways including joint webinars, co-branded collateral and solution-oriented emails. This gives them additional benefits and incentives, including leads, spiffs, market development fund accruals and dedicated technical support managers, Vinograd said.
Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, specializes in technology and the channel.