By Jonathan Lee, Associate Editor
Partnering has been a traditional practice for businesses to solve problems, supplement gaps and achieve specific strategy goals. With the dawn of the Information Age, solution providers that specialize in nurturing partnerships have been gaining much more visibility, assisting vendors in maximizing and optimizing their partner networks.
NetApp partnered with Launch International, a channel consultancy, to develop a formalized partner marketing and sales enablement program. Touting 13,000 employees, NetApp earns approximately $7 billion in sales worldwide. More than 75% of those sales are generated through the channel.
To ensure partners are successful in their sales and marketing initiatives, NetApp used partner feedback generated via internal surveys and one-to-one conversations to create the GetSuccessful program. The initiative provides partners with access to a variety of resources, including on-demand videos, solution guides and workshops, in an easy to access portal.
As of May 2013, GetSuccessful has received the following results:
All the informational material available through the GetSuccessful program is focused on explaining one of three principles:
“The GetSuccessful program has been a mainstay in our partner enablement activities for more than five years now,” said Steven Block, Director of Worldwide Channel Enablement & Development at NetApp, in an interview with Channel Marketer Report. “It has gotten to a point where partners are asking us proactively: What is new?”
In order to keep partners engaged, NetApp communicates to partners through a newsletter, the NetApp field portal and an online briefing center. “The field portal provides a ‘one stop shop’ for partners to easily access everything they need,” Block explained. Events are promoted to partners via direct communication with NetApp team members and/or channel development managers. Content and discussion points for workshops are finalized via detailed discussions with partners to ensure their key wants and needs are addressed.
Workshops range between three to four hours with an added call-in feature for attendants that don’t have computer or Internet access. At the conclusion of workshops, NetApp sends questionnaires to attendees to share their feedback, as well as provide access to presentation slides.
A Detailed History
The partnership between NetApp and Launch International began in 2008, when the companies first launched GetSuccessful, which was designed to provide channel partners with a platform to effectively sell solutions.
The GetSuccessful program began as a guide focused on the benefits of building a practice and business around a specific solution such as virtualization. This “quickly expanded” into other elements like videos, workshops and white papers to address the needs of clients.
“We needed a program that partners would embrace and one that they would feel they could go to for help in positioning and selling NetApp solutions,” Block said. “We were looking for building out a channel enablement framework and Launch was recommended to us. We liked what we saw and we hit it off.”