Partner engagement in a comprehensive certification program that provides use-case and enablement training soared dramatically at Gigamon, a network visibility and traffic monitoring technology vendor. Even without an incentive component, the certification program has been utilized by over two-thirds of Gigamon’s partners which increased the number of certifications by four times.
The boost in partner engagement is driving revenue as well, especially from new clients. Half of the net new logos that Gigamon won this year were driven by its channel.
Rather than focus training content on the core Gigamon solution, the company opted to demonstrate how its technology can help partners enhance their existing offerings, especially to the specific markets in which they compete, said Larissa Crandall, Vice President of Worldwide Channel and Alliances. “If they can understand how we fit with what they’re already selling, or support a use case — a healthcare organization, for example, that was looking for visibility and analytics around their infrastructure — we can teach them how to look for more opportunities.”
Gigamon expanded its roster of security, cloud and IoT partnerships to include Armis, AWS, FireEye, Fortinet, Oracle and Ordr. The company released key value add solutions with prominent technology partners such as Zscaler (cloud) Cisco (security) and Nokia (5G) resulting in “better together” solutions. Gigamon also extended its cloud Ecosystem reach with a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro.
An emphasis on return on investment (ROI) training, which was aligned with the launch of an online ROI calculator, captured new and existing partner interest, said Crandall. “What we call ROI Training to the Channel was all about Gigamon application for a variety of use cases. Partners can use our ROI calculator as an assessment and engagement tool for their customers or prospects.”
The calculator, which requires partners or their customers to provide information about their existing security tools and infrastructure, provides a one, three to five-year return on investment estimate in a report that can be shared with the buying team, said Crandall. “That’s what the IT professionals and the CEOs and the CFOs need to justify everything right now.”
Gigamon provided its new training material in easy-to-digest formats, and then enabled partners to share the information with pre-guilt campaigns. “It needs to be video, and it needs to be short,” Crandall said. “We can’t have a webinar right now for 45 minutes or an hour.” Moreover, Crandall stressed that importance of providing partners with a compelling value prop and them enabling them to address an opportunity.
The variety of new partners and their staff that participated in the certification program was significant, said Crandall. “More important, we grew our channel reps and SEs within our own partner base as well.”
After partners have completed the training, “You need to give them an action,” said Crandall. “‘Go run a list of customers that look like this.’ And then we give them the email and call scripts and additional content.”
Gigamon developed a la carte demand generation programs that partners could activate with market development funds. Activities ranged from appointment setting, content syndication, to creating landing pages. The program was helping partners transition to “true digital marketing,” said Crandall. “Everything’s already here,” she continued. Gigamon told its partners, “We’re going to make it really easy for you. Pick a la carte, what you’re doing, what you need to do, who you need to go after and we’ll help customize the content to your audience.”
Packaging the ROI calculator in customer-centric campaigns is providing partners with a differentiated go-to-market message, said Crandall. “They now had a compelling and relevant value prop to go out to the industry. They didn’t sound like everybody else which is exactly what partners are looking for.” When many Covid-19 related campaigns shifted to ‘work from home’ content, “our messaging was driven around ROI and value driven.”