Nutanix redefines partner experience with its new program, Elevate

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Under the new program, partner can choose based on what they want to invest into either be a Cloud Professional or a Cloud Champion

The San Jose, Calif.-based Nutanix has recently modified its existing partner program- ‘Channel Charter’ by completely redefined its channel engagements with a new global partner program- Elevate which the company announced at its  .NEXT digital partner exchange event. The new global partner program changes the way the company collaborates and compensates solution providers around the world.

CRN India spoke to the Global and Indian Channel executives of Nutanix who shared the roadmap of the new program in India.Overall, Nutanix is shifting how it wants partners to sell, train and go to market with Nutanix to maximise profitability.

Christian Alvarez, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channels at Nutanix

Christian Alvarez, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channels, Nutanix says, “Our channel charter program is a little over two years old, and we’ve pivoted towards a new very innovative way of partnering and basically with the revisions we have three core elements that we took into account when redesigning and that is simplicity, predictability and profitability. We believe that complexity hinders growth. We have completely overhauled some core elements of our partner program, we’re essentially easing how partners do business with us.”

The first major element Nutanix has done around simplicity is combining various partner programs for GSI, the OEMs, the traditional VAR resellers, distribution, alliance partners into one. Additionally, the company has introduced auto pay. That means auto pay of all incentives that a partner could be entitled to. So, the process used to require the partner to take several steps, a lot of administrative effort, all that is now being eliminated with the new partner program.

For its OEM manufactures, the company is moved away from the traditional tiered model- Scaler, Pioneer and Master. The company has decided to pivot away and embrace a competency value-based partner program. So, by removing the tiers which typically a partner achieves a new level of a tier, based on certain revenue threshold or sales achievements, is now shifted towards a competency-based model under Cloud Professional, and a Cloud Champion (the highest level of competency). So that’s the big core around predictability.

“We’ve taken all of that complexity away,”

“With the new Elevate Partner Program; it doesn’t matter if you are a big partner, a medium partner or small partner.  The partner will now compete with all partners at the time because the incentives are relatively the same. And partner can choose based on what they want to invest in to either be a Cloud Professional or a Cloud Champion.  It’s no longer because you are a big national partner and you are a Cloud Champion and as many other OEMs do, making it very difficult for the small companies to become the highest level of tier. We’ve taken all of that complexity away,” Alvarez adds.

Another highlight of Elevate program is rolling out a brand-new deal registration tool, which is called Performance Plus Deal Registration.  “With Performance Plus – we’re not changing anything having to do with how the channel registers deals but what we’re introducing brand new is, all of our Nutanix sellers are required to do a deal registration as a channel would but now they have to invite a partner early and often to that opportunity. We truly believe that this is a very innovative approach to partner even more effectively with the partners,” Alvarez shares.

He further explains, partners around the world who are currently Master partners will be automatically transitioned to becoming a Cloud Champion and start enjoying all of their incentives under the new Elevate Partner Program. Now, the partners that are Pioneer, they have six months to choose which competency level they want to invest in and transition to.

“So, we’re running our legacy partner program for six months and they get to continue the current incentives that they have as long as they’ve been a partner.  And for Scaler, we’re giving them one year to transition and choose if they want to be a Cloud Professional or Cloud Champion.  Overall, partners will get six months and up to a year time for this transition phase,” he adds.

Channel outperformed in pandemic

Jacob Pereira, APJ, Senior Director Channels, Nutanix

Giving the perspective and performance of the channel business in India, Jacob Pereira, Senior Director Channels, Nutanix says, “Our financial results have come out, specific to India our customer growth has been at 34 percent Y-O-Y and our partners at the same time grew at 51 percent Y-O-Y. During the pandemic, we’ve introduced work from home initiatives and work from anywhere initiatives, so those are two areas where we have capitalised.  So, we’ve seen a huge interest in some of these workload centric programs with our partners in India.”

Emphasising on the services model Pereira adds, “At Nutanix our partners have the ability to position capex offering with hybrid or we can leverage our partnerships with Lenovo, GreenLake and we’ve also instituted flexible payment services for our financial partners to give them the flexibility of looking at different payment options for their specific projects.  I won’t say the projects have slowed down, I would say that the element on how they conserve cash and continue their projects has definitely shifted.”

Ritesh Syal, Head & Director, Channels & Alliances, Nutanix India

“As an organisation we provide equal growth opportunity for the channel partners”

Reiterating the significance of the new program for partners, Ritesh Syal, Head & Director, Channels & Alliances (India & SAARC), Nutanix adds, “As an organisation we provide equal growth opportunity for the channel partners. The only shift which has happened is the IT has become more powerful because it has become an enabler to drive some of the large projects. This is a crucial time for the channel ecosystem to equip themselves with the knowledge, software, and tools to guide businesses in India towards the right technology that will not just maintain continuity but also build resilience for the future.”

Subscription model outshines

Reiterating the mission statement on making compute, storage, and virtualisation invisible, the company’s decision to step into subscription model with the launch of  capacity-based licensing has paved the way for  partners to provide a greater licensing lifecycle. This provides flexible lifecycle and application mobility between the on-premise environment and the off-premise environment. “We’re looking at moving from hyper converged infrastructure to more hybrid converged infrastructure services such as desktop-as-a-service, database-as-a-service and we’ve already seen a lot of winds in the Indian market around some of these new portfolio products that we’ve introduced,” Pereira concludes.


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