CommVault says that it’s making changes to two key components of its channel partner program in response to partner feedback. First, says Mark Conley, the company’s director of North American channels, it’s tweaking its margins to improve profitability for smaller VARs. Second, it’s modifying its sales accreditation program.
Conley said that two surveys among its reseller base (now at 320 companies in North America) over the past year showed that the company’s partners were happy with CommVault’s products but not so happy with their profitability potential and training. The surveys suggested, Conley said, that the company “fell short on the availability and quality of their technical and sales training.” He said that while CommVault’s not ready to announce exactly how it’ll tweak its margins for its three tiers of partners (platinum, gold and authorized), you can expect more info on that early in 2010. To address the feedback around training, the company has changes on the docket for its sales accreditation program, but nothing in the works right now for its technical certification program.
CommVault also appears to be making strides in its efforts to change its relationship with VARs. “We started out as a very direct company,” he said. “We don’t ever win unless we do a forklift replacement of somebody else’s data management products. So there’s a real direct culture at the company.” But, he said, that’s changing. Evidence: The company’s reliance on the channel is increasing. Conley said that by the end of this fiscal year, it expects to have between 80% and 85% of its revenue coming from indirect sales, compared with somewhere in the 60% range a few years ago. In addition, Conley said that revenue from the channel in North America is up about 50% year over year at the halfway point in CommVault’s fiscal year.