Akamai Technologies, a provider of an intelligent edge platform for securing and delivering digital experiences, has launched a new program that significantly expands and supports channel partners’ ability to deliver high-value services to their customers.
The new Akamai Partner Program builds upon and expands the company’s existing channel partner program, providing greater flexibility, support, and financial incentives. At its core is a new enablement program that offers partners the training, certifications and support to independently sell and service Akamai products successfully.
Partners can now choose basic or advanced certification levels, with additional training options and pricing incentives for advanced partners. Role-based mentoring by Akamai experts gives advanced partners the know-how to build a robust practice around Akamai solutions. The new, robust certification program is designed to help partner organizations and professionals enhance their market recognition and competitive advantage.
The new partner program also expands the options for engagement with Akamai as a solution provider, a fulfillment partner, or a global systems integrator. This allows organizations to align their Akamai partnership with their own business models. Solution providers now have the ability to serve all of their customers’ Akamai product needs independently—from sales to service and support. They can serve as a single, trusted, “go-to” resource, strengthening customer relationships and improving their business outcomes.
“We want the partners to determine what role they want to play in our go-to-market motion,” said Micheal McCollough, Global Vice President, Channels and Alliances. “If a partner decides, ‘Look, we just want to bring new logos. We don’t have the resources to invest to do lead sales or to do marketing or deliver services. We just want to be able to provide opportunities and we’re going to flip them to you and you guys can help us run with it.’”
Other partners may want to be fully self-sufficient, he continued. “Not only do they want to help create the demand through marketing activities, they want to be able to lead the sales, manage the customers through the life cycle, and then integrate the customer once the deal has been closed.”
Critical to the success of the Akamai channel program is ensuring that all partners have an appropriate level of fluency in the company’s solutions and understand the most effective ways to market them. To support that, a jumpstart program for newly recruited partners provides training on solution positioning, even for specific industries, said Vadish Senior Director, Global Channel Marketing.
The company hosts a quarterly channel marketing hour to share modern marketing best practices. “I think it is super critical that they can understand the most successful tactics they can run in terms of driving product adoption,” he said. The meeting are conducted at regional levels to share with partners information about what works in their territories, said Shetty. “We’ve seen different kind of campaigns work in different regions to be successful.”
True to the data-focused nature of the company, the channel marketing team tracks campaign data to help partners implement effective programs. “For new customers,” said Shetty, “there’s about 30 to 40 touches before they can go from a lead to a deal. ”That information is shared with partners to help them execute a program or a campaign more efficiently. Partners also have access to campaign content in Akamai’s partner marketing portal.
Financial incentives have also been realigned to emphasize greater rewards for partners that deliver greater value to their customers with Akamai solutions. Certified partners that deliver more services to customers benefit the most, maximizing the return on their investment in service delivery resources. In addition, Akamai’s tiered sales value structure has been updated to provide globally consistent benefits.
“We have designed our program to offer partners more flexibility, the opportunity for better profitability and more resources to deliver value-added services to their customers.” said McCollough. “Certified partners that deliver more services to customers benefit the most, maximizing the return on their investment in service delivery resources. We believe this new and improved program will strengthen Akamai’s position as the partner of choice in our market space.”
“We recognize the crucial role our channel partners play in Akamai’s growth and success,” said Dr. Tom Leighton, co-founder and chief executive officer, in a press release. “The new Akamai Partner Program unleashes our partners’ potential, enabling them to build highly rewarding businesses around our intelligent edge.
About one third of Akamai’s revenue is generated by its channel. But about two-thirds of our new customer bookings comes through our channel partners, said McCollough.