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Condusiv Adds Elite Tier to Partner Program

In a brainstorming session about four months ago, Condusiv Technologies CEO Jerry Baldwin decided his company's partner program needed another tier.

Formerly known as Executive Software and then Diskeeper, Condusiv still sells the defragmentation software those brands were best known for. But Baldwin has steered the company's technology toward a heavier focus on I/O optimization for virtualized environments and the company's business toward a 100-percent channel model. 

"Our product line and our story is not one that is easily told through advertising and websites," Baldwin said. It takes face-to-face engagement to discuss solutions to the complex I/O problems customers have with virtualization, and having channel partners make that case is the most efficient approach, he contended.

The latest tweak as Baldwin focuses exclusively on channel-led success is an Elite Partner Program launched on Monday. Initial Elite Partners are Champion Solutions Group based in Boca Raton, Fla. and Green Pages Technology Solutions with headquarters in Kittery, Maine.

In addition to the distribution partners that source all of Condusiv's products, the company's program is now a three-tier model consisting of Registered, Premier and Elite partners. There are about 1,500 Registered Partners, but it's the 18 to 20 partners at the Premier level so far that are generating sales volume for Condusiv.

As Baldwin looked at the U.S. wall map in his office showing geographic circles of Premier partner coverage, it occurred to his team that they could spur more business by partnering more deeply with a special kind of existing Premier partners.

"I am looking for partners that really, really get it and whose business direction is the same as mine," Baldwin said. "They're focused on virtualization and cloud performance, and they only handle 15 to 20 vendors max, so all their salespeople, all their support people, know the vendors and know the products."

Other criteria are a horizontal model with a midmarket emphasis and strong regional outside sales and technical support. VMware certifications are key, along with experience in Microsoft and Citrix virtualization technology.

To Baldwin, personality and style are also important: "I'm looking for the kind of person I could do business with on a handshake. We wouldn't need contracts."

Champion meets those criteria for the Southeastern United States, and Green Pages is the Elite partner for the Northeast. Baldwin says to expect more announcements in short order, filling in an Elite partner for each of the four major remaining regions of the country, along with possibly another one or two later.

Baldwin doesn't expect conflict between Elite partners and the Premier tier, which will also probably expand by a handful of partners. Premiers are more likely to be extremely strong in one metropolitan area, have a vertical focus, represent Condusiv solutions to either SMBs or the enterprise, or carry Condusiv software as part of a very large line card. He also anticipates Elites to partner with Premiers on a regular basis.

"When we err, we err on the side of less partners," he said.

Posted by Scott Bekker on September 23, 2013 at 9:25 AM