‘Tap’ping Partner Competency

Riverbed Technology, since its inception in 2002, has over the years managed to carve out a commendable market share in the country. The company is making a significant investment in developing its partner network around the company’s performance platform and across its entire product portfolio.
Anil Batra, MD, India, Riverbed Technology said, “We are growing significantly and there is a major demand for the products and solutions we have developed. With companies growing and expanding their presence, there is definite need for consolidation of IT infrastructure and we are the pioneers of this technology.” He further added, “We have 5 to 6 varieties of solutions which have a strong demand in the market.”

The vendors’ go-to-market strategy is well defined and straight forward, states Batra, adding, “We work with partners, we provide the right trainings, we assist in lead generation and the partner closes the deal. We understand that ours is a relatively new product. Also, we introduced a lot of new products in the last 6 months, so we constantly strive to educate our partners and also assist them during the deals.”
Riverbed in India has a flat management system in place. The company has a direct presence in 3 cities which includes New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. It plans to open a new office in Chennai. The company has 5-10 sales people in every region and it takes help of its distributors to support its VARs at the places where it cannot reach.
Riverbed observes maximum growth coming from its WAN Optimization related solutions. According to Batra, who is also responsible for the channel strategies of the company in the country, “This segment is our strong forte and it continues to be our top selling solutions. Apart from this, we have a strong presence in virtual edge servers, Cascade, Steelhead, Stingray series of products are now asked for by the customers. The granite range of products, specifically addressing the storage requirements of branches, are seeing positive growth.”

At the Channel Front
Riverbed is a channel driven company with 95% of its business revenue coming from channel business. On the solutions front, the Riverbed performance platform solves common challenges in balancing the needs of users, the budget of IT, and productivity of the business. Initiatives around application acceleration and delivery, consolidation, virtualization and cloud, infrastructure optimization, and data protection and disaster recovery, benefit from a programmable approach to performance.
As of today, the company has about 100 partners in the country, wherein 60 to 70 are value added resellers (VARs). The products along with value additions are provided to partners by two distributors which includes Mtek Solutions and Ingram Micro. Apart from this, the vendor has global SI and large SI partners associated with it like IBM, HCL, Wipro etc and service providers like AT&T, Orange, British Telecom, Reliance, etc.
The company’s partner program is called Riverbed Partner Network (RPN). It is built around five key pillars-capacity, competency, engagement, marketing, and profitability, to ensure partner success. “We invest time and resource in developing this program, which we aim will provide a plethora of benefits to our partners. It is a comprehensive program designed to provide growth and profitability for each type and size of Riverbed partner, including distributors, global partners, large account resellers, as well as enterprise and small/medium enterprise solution providers,” said Batra .
Earlier this year, the company announced a new framework for its worldwide RPN program that is designed to accelerate partnership momentum with new tools, resources and profitability programs. This next phase of the RPN program focuses on creating mutual success for value-added resellers (VARs) by introducing new enablement programs, enhanced profitability programs to reward partners and support their business growth, and enriched training programs to increase partners’ competency across the entire Riverbed performance platform. A new specialization framework through Technology Authorization Paths (TAPs) empower partners to focus on building competency and selling the products and solutions that are best suited for their skills, target markets, and expertise.
To ensure partners are well versed on the Riverbed performance platform, the company is introducing a new partner training program that includes an extensive offering of online training classes and curriculum that are role based, from basic to advanced sales, and pre-sales. In addition, the new profitability programs are geared to help partners build a strong financial business model when they assist the company to solve customers’ complex IT problems with its solutions.
The partners are classified as per their expertize, size and more importantly certifications. The different levels include Diamond, Platinum, Gold and Silver.
The vendor has appointed Bengaluru based Dimension Data as its training partner. It offers online and on-demand training programs.

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