Treating the channel mean doesn’t keep them keen
The applications networking market is too promiscuous, with a lack of commitment and slim pickings for resellers, according to A10 Networks, which has promised future partners that it will be different.
The vendor has launched a new EMEA partner programme which it has promised will be based on long term relationships and bigger margins.
The new Ten4A10 scheme will sharpen the vendor’s community focus but widen its benefits to committed partners, it said. Even in the larger EMEA territories there will only ever be a maximum of 10 members in the channel which will comprise of one distributor, two Gold, three Silver and four Bronze partners.
It’s all about transparency, said A10 Networks’ sales VP Andre Stewart, adding that today’s application delivery controller vendors have made the market difficult for resellers.
“F5 Networks has an over extended channel that is fighting over margin while selling an overpriced product. Cisco has deserted and is pushing its channel to compete with Citrix partners in offering NetScaler,” said Stewart. He also dismissed smaller rivals, such as Radware and Kemp, saying they lacked the depth that enterprise customers need.
“Our channel partners are looking for a vendor with a commitment and product set that allows them to maintain a profitable long term relationship,” said Stewart. A10 does not want “hundreds of partners” or it will end up like F5 Networks, he argued, where “partners are locked in destructive competition that results in extremely slim margins”.
Could a cull of existing partners be on the cards? “A10 Networks is currently in discussion with this community to define its initial Ten4A10 partners and supporting distribution channels in each region,” said a company statement.
A new list of approved channel partners will be announced during Q1 of 2013.