For the 34th year, CRN surveyed technology solution providers to score vendors in a variety of categories as part of this year’s Annual Report Card (ARC). We were thrilled to be named the 2019 CRN ARC as overall winners in the Converged/Hyperconverged Infrastructure and Desktop/Server Virtualization categories, and all subcategories including Product Innovation, Support, Partnership, and Managed/Cloud Services.
Within the CRN ARC awards, vendors are judged by the quality of their support and partnerships. At Scale Computing, as a 100% channel-focused organization, we take partner support extremely seriously—it’s at the heart of everything we do, and we always work hard to help our partners succeed and grow. Nothing makes us happier than a successful, flourishing partner because, as is the case with the best partnerships in this world, when one succeeds, we both succeed.
With that in mind, I wanted to take a deep dive into our performance across the support and partnership criteria within both awards—and give some insight into how the support framework, mechanisms, and tools we’ve put in place are helping our partners every day.
Digging Deeper into Support Criteria
The support criteria for both awards covered everything from pre- and post-sales support through to training, field management, and marketing. We place a key emphasis on helping our partners at each stage of the sales cycle—providing them with self-service tools, escalation support, channel manager engagement, and high-quality marketing tools, such as our new partner portal.
Scale Computing also performed well in the “Ease of Doing Business” criteria within the support section—gaining a score of 97.2 in the Converged/Hyperconverged category, and 98.3 in the Desktop/Server Virtualization category. We feel immensely proud of this score as we genuinely strive to make it as easy as possible for our partners to engage with us—all the way from pre-sales in the field, through to post-sales with support, education, and guidance. For example, it takes just a few hours to get a quote or gain approval on a registered deal. We’ve heard of instances in which our competitors have kept their partners waiting days—even weeks. Field assistance is available to all our partners—there’s no need to be a platinum partner, bring in the deal of the century or hit outlandish revenue targets; we will help no matter the size of the deal because, as our partners grow and achieve, so do we. And every success counts.
Assessing the Quality of Partner Programs
It’s interesting to see that across the CRN ARC awards, each of the criteria is ranked by importance. Ease of use ranks fourth, behind product quality, functionality, and technical innovation, which clearly shows we are on the right path and we know what our channel partners need to succeed. Our HC3 offering is reliable, functional and innovative—and our way of working makes it easy for our partners to find, pitch, and win business, which is key to us.
The partnership sections of both awards are judged on the quality of a vendor’s partner program, along with its overall quality of communication on matters including promotions, price changes, and new products. It also covers the extent to which a vendor minimizes conflict between its direct sales force and resellers' business. For instance, Scale Computing’s overall partnership score was over 21 points greater than VMware in the Converged/Hyperconverged Server award, and nearly 18 points higher in the Desktop/Server Virtualization award.
We gained our highest mark in the partnership category with 91.3 for the profit margin/profit potential criteria in the Converged/Hyperconverged Server award and 93.5 in the Desktop/Server Virtualization award. This is not surprising, as we offer some of the highest margins in the industry, as well as deal protection and renewal incumbency.
This score, in particular, shows the channel community understands the potential for the hyperconverged market, with IDC predicting double-digit growth within the next year. Many analysts also expect to see triple-digit growth for edge computing solutions in the future.
Delivering profitable products and solutions for our partners is one of the single most important services we can do as a technology vendor. These results show we know what makes for a successful partner relationship and that we are committed to helping our partners reach their full potential. Our partners know we’ll jump through hoops to make them successful, which will, in turn, make their customers successful—and these awards offer tangible proof.