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Riverbed changes tack with new points-based partner program

Riverbed changes tack with new points-based partner program

Steps away from traditional, compliance-based program

Keith Buckley (Riverbed)

Keith Buckley (Riverbed)

Network and application performance vendor, Riverbed Technology,has taken the wrappers off a new performance-based partner program called Riverbed Rise.

The new reward points-based program is a step away from the vendor’s traditional, compliance-based model where rewards had been tied to certifications and reaching certain revenue targets, which often required a heavy upfront investment from partners to retain their status.

Riverbed A/NZ vice president, Keith Buckley, explained that as a partner wins new business or builds new capabilities, they’ll earn reward points that can be cashed in for either a rebate, business development funds, or access to training, certification and education.

"Most importantly, the partner decides which of those three buckets the reward will go into, or they can spread it across all three, depending on how their business is set up and what activity they’re looking for,” he said.

The amount of points earned during a four quarter period, will then determine the partner’s level in the program for the following year, which is made up of Authorised (up to 34 points), Premier (35 - 399 points) and Elite (more than 400).

Buckley said the points are focused on four separate areas such as customer acquisition, account penetration, when partners are pushing managed or subscription services based on Riverbed technology; as well as training, resources and certifications.

The new program tackles some of the challenges it had with its previous model, and places a strong focus on three areas: simplicity, flexibility and profitability, Buckley said.

“We’re now aligned with the way the market is moving," he added. "Our old program primarily focused on competencies and the more technical certifications that a partner had, the more discounts and rebates they qualified for. But it didn’t align to performance or creative business models.

"Feedback from our partner community suggested that the energy needed to keep or grow their status inside Riverbed, required a lot of effort and investment.

"We’re now giving partners clarity on how to achieve status, creating a clear path for partners to earn reward points and supporting all types of partner business models."

The new program acknowledges and supports different methods partners use to sell their technology whether that’s through software licensing, resale, managed services or cloud services.

“We’re running well over 100 trading partners per annum inside our business here and that continues to grow,” he said.

Along with the new program launch, the vendor is also releasing a new partner portal, more marketing tools with dedicated partner social channels, revamped programs and simplified discounting schedules.

MOQ Digital NSW practice lead, Geoff Watkins, said the new program incentivises them to develop a high level of competency with the Riverbed portfolio without being pigeon-holed into the traditional tier model.

“It’s a new way of partnering that gives us the flexibility and collaboration we need to create new opportunities for the business, while continuing to help our clients evolve,” Watkins said.

The launch of the new program comes on the back of Riverbed’s appointment last year of Bridget Bisnette, as its new vice president of global channels and commercial sales and the promotion of Cindy Herndon as the new vice president of global channel programs and operations.

Riverbed partner, Telstra recently landed a project to deploy its cloud networking solutions to more than 44 locations across Attune Hearing’s national footprint of clinics.

Attune Hearing is one of Australia’s largest independent audiology service provider, with clinics as far afield as Townsville, the Mornington Peninsula, Perth and all down the eastern seaboard.


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Tags partner programRiverbed TechnologyKeith Buckley

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