Pure Storage rejects "partners of convenience" in programme relaunch

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Pure Storage today unveiled a new partner programme, having terminated relationships with what it termed "partners of convenience".

The news, which was announced at the all-flash storage firm’s Global Partner Forum on the eve of its Accelerate conference in San Francisco, comes off the back of rapid growth and expansion year-on-year.

The new programme will officially launch on 1 August and offers partners new training and certification options, as well as enhanced benefits and incentivisation. The refresh keeps things simple, retiring the P3 moniker and simply calling it the Pure Partner Programme, and is geared towards ensuring partners are rewarded for essentially creating a ‘Pure practice’.

Alongside the changes, Pure unveiled a new logo demonstrating the connection between Pure Storage and its partners. And it’s this connection that makes the firm “viable, competitive and potent in the marketplace,” according to Michael Sotnick, vice president of partners, services, and business development at Pure Storage.

"This is an important evolution to what Pure has done in our relationship with you every day in the marketplace. We’ve made some distinct and very purposeful investments," he said, addressing partners at the Forum.

"We terminated partners in Q4 in North America from our programme. I’ve shared that stat to underscore an important element: We do not need partners of convenience in our portfolio. We would much rather get one or 50 more sales people in your organisation than to sign a partner across the street, or across your town or across the country. Our selectiveness is only going to continue."

Instead, he said the new programme was geared towards empowering partners with tools and resources to sell more effectively.

Pure’s new partner programme is comprised of just two tiers – entry-level Preferred and the higher, invite-only, tier of Elite – to encourage and support partners, regardless of their size or standing, to reach that premium status.

New certifications will be announced as the year progresses, but the first two additions come in the form of the Pure Storage Foundation exam and the FlashArray Architect exam.

It’s all about empowering partners and allowing them to be more self-sufficient but at the same time supported, according to Kevin Delane, Pure Storage’s vice president of worldwide sales.

"It’s about creating a winning environment and going after every deal we could," he told partners. "The more opportunities you have, the faster you can grow. We focused on accelerating growth in all parts of the world. 2017 was truly a great year for us and I think we have the opportunity to do it again this year."

Talking of the focus areas for 2018, Delane added: "[We will have] an upmarket bias. It’s about selling to the accounts and opportunities that have a larger total addressable market and larger opportunities. We want to perfect our platform selling motion and we’ll do that with you. Most importantly, we want to empower the channel and our partners and create more independence with our partners. Our job this year is to provide you with the tools to be more successful. I know your capabilities and it’s our job to empower you."

Perhaps even more importantly for partners as they look to attract and retain new customers and expand their own reach, Pure is making available enhanced tools to assist with quotes and proposals.

"These new enhancements to the Pure Partner Programme are another example of this commitment and are going to provide real value and support for Pure's partners. This programme is comprehensive and will incentivise partners to lead with Pure Storage," said Steve White, programme vice president of channels and alliances at analyst firm IDC.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.