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StorageCraft Adds Tiers, Training to Partner Program

The overhauled partner program that StorageCraft Technology Corp. executives promised earlier this year when the company got its $187 million private equity investment went live on Wednesday.

"Really as you look at it -- the way the company is changing, the expansion of the product line -- we kind of knew it was time to really revamp the entire partner program," said Marvin Blough, vice president of worldwide sales and one of several veteran technology executives brought in after Chairman and CEO Matt Medeiros joined the Draper, Utah-based company in January.

StorageCraft created a partner advisory board in May, and feedback from those partners helped lead to several significant changes, Blough said in a telephone interview.

The most visible change is taking the StorageCraft Partner Network from a single-tier program to one with four tiers -- platinum, gold, silver and authorized. Membership levels are determined based on a new certification component and to a lesser extent on revenues, Blough said.

A newly launched partner portal includes e-learning modules for both sales training and technical training. Those resources are free, although partners can pay for face-to-face training. The sales training takes about four hours. Technical training for a new Engineering Certification takes about 20 hours and is the cornerstone of the new tiers. A silver partner needs one certified engineer, while gold takes two certified engineers. To reach platinum, one of those two engineers required for gold needs to hit a higher "master" level.

In order to acknowledge the experience of longtime partners, technicians can test out of some of the training.

"If you go through and take the test, and you don't pass it, it will tell you which parts you are weak in, and which parts you're strong in. There may be 20-hours of classes, but realistically if you went through and took the tests, you could say, 'I don't need to take those eight hours of classes, but I do need to take these six to eight hours of classes,'" Blough said.

Among the benefits of moving up in the tiers are joint marketing development funds, deal registration and additional points of margin. Broad benefits that apply to all tiers include beta software, not-for-resale software, marketing materials, and access to purchase and renew licenses through the self-service portal.

Last month, StorageCraft refined its focus by acquiring Gillware Online Backup, which will help StorageCraft partners develop consultative relationships around backup in which they can help customers prioritize how data gets backed up.

The company is developing training modules for later delivery around the Gillware technology, as well as around a StorageCraft Cloud to Cloud data protection solution for Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce.com and Box that is currently scheduled for availability in December.

Posted by Scott Bekker on October 05, 2016 at 12:37 PM