Today we announced the launch of our new global partner program, the Barracuda Partner Success Program. Partners who resell Barracuda solutions will be recognized for their Barracuda business as a whole, regardless of the route to market, and they will be provided with benefits and resources based on their total sales contribution.
To help you get a better understanding of what’s new and how it can help you, we sat down to talk with Jason Beal, Vice President of Worldwide Partner Ecosystems at Barracuda, and Alli Oneal, Senior Manager of Global Partner Programs and Partner Experience at Barracuda.
Q&A with Jason Beal and Alli Oneal
What sets the Barracuda Partner Success Program apart from other partner programs?
Jason: This is Barracuda’s first truly global partner program, and we’ve listened to our partner community and responded to what we’ve heard as their most important need and their request of us, which is to recognize and reward all of their Barracuda business. The great thing is that we have a partner community that engages with Barracuda and brings our technologies to their end customers in many different ways — from a project business, with resale and professional services, to building out managed services built on Barracuda technologies, and helping many of their end customers who want to procure through the cloud and hyperscaler marketplaces. So, we’ve been able to respond to that voice of partner and introduce one global partner program that incorporates all of the business that partners do with us.
Alli: I think one of the things that really sets this program apart is that we’ve fundamentally structured it around this idea of shared success — success of our partners, our distributors, and our customers in working together with Barracuda. We’ve introduced new benefits, resources, program elements, and requirements that are all fundamentally designed around the shared success framework of LAER, aligning different elements of our program to each stage of the customer lifecycle journey.
What is the LAER model?
Jason: At the heart of a customer success methodology is the LAER model of land, adopt, expand, and renew. It’s really how vendors and partners work together across the entire customer lifecycle from the time that a new customer is acquired or landed to driving and accelerating a time to value and driving full feature adoption with those end customers, then having the permission and resources to go back and expand your estate and cross-sell more products and partner solutions into those customers, and then finally to make sure that we’re renewing and retaining those customers and keeping them as customers for life.
How does the new program help Barracuda partners, and how does it ultimately help customers?
Jason: The new Barracuda Partner Success Program has been architected around the theme of the partner multiplier, which is the easy way to say a fancy term — the partner ecosystem economic opportunity. It’s really looking at how a vendor like Barracuda helps our partners maximize their economic opportunity in working with us and the end customers. So, the fact that we have architected our Barracuda Partner Success Program with customer lifecycle management in mind puts our partners in the position to add value and make revenue and profit at all of these stages from land, adopt, expand, and renew with their support and services, and that is a key benefit of the program. They’re really going to be able to maximize their partner multiplier with the new Barracuda Partner Success program.
Alli: In addition to that, we’ve built in this idea of partner agility. We have three separate program tracks that are related to varying partner business models. We have a track for resale, a track for managed services, and then a track for hyperscaler marketplaces. A partner can choose to participate in one or multiple tracks to best serve the various needs of their end users. As Jason mentioned, in the new program, partners will be recognized for all of their business when determining their program status, encouraging this idea of hybridity, and we’re providing them with resources and benefits across all three tracks along the way to help them and their end customers succeed.
You talked about the concept of partner agility and the power of choice. What is that and what does it mean for partners?
Jason: One of the drivers of the Barracuda Partner Success program was around this concept of partner agility and putting our partners in a position to offer a choice to their end customers. When we look at the modern buyer, there are so many different needs and preferences for how they procure technologies, consume technologies, and then manage those technologies. Our partners are asking for our help to offer the power of choice to meet those end customers’ needs and preferences. One day, a prospect or end customer may deploy a project and just want to buy hardware or licenses and manage it themselves. The next week, a partner might be asked to design a new managed service or co-managed service on Barracuda technologies for their end customers, but they have limited IT staff. And then the next week, they might be working with a customer or a prospect who is born-in-the-cloud and wants to consume third-party software via the hyperscaler marketplace. The new partner program has been designed with enablement in mind to help our partners offer choices to the end customers for how they want to procure, consume, and manage their technologies. That’s partner agility, that’s the power of choice.
You’ve both mentioned the shared success model. Can you tell me a little bit more about what that is and what it means to you?
Jason: In our industry, the channel has always been there to provide an incredible amount of reach to the vendor community and has helped vendors extend their business while driving a lower cost of sale and a lower cost to serve. There are only a certain amount of customers that a vendor like Barracuda can employ a high-touch model toward, which means we’re relying on our partners to drive that customer lifecycle management for the rest of our mutual customers. So, the shared success model is Barracuda — our teams, our customer success, our support, our renewals, our sales teams — working hand in glove with our partners to deliver that customer life cycle management to our mutual customers.
Could you explain what partner empathy is and the role it played in the creation of the new program?
Alli: We’ve really spent the last year listening to our partners to understand what’s working, what’s not working, and foundationally building this new program around the feedback that we got from them. For me, especially in my role overseeing partner experience, partner empathy means always keeping the door open for feedback, listening to what’s working and also what’s not working, and then making improvements and adjustments to meet the requests of our partners. I think always keeping in mind the partners point of view and trying to understand ways that we can make their experience working with Barracuda easier. That’s what partner empathy means to me.
Jason: The reality is that we know that our partners have choices in the vendors with whom they work. We also know that they’re juggling a lot and have a lot of balls in the air on a day-to-day basis serving their end customers, their employees, and their vendor partnerships. Unfortunately, not all vendors in our community appreciate and recognize those demands on our partners. At Barracuda, we have partner empathy. We see our partners through their eyes, walking in their shoes, understanding the solutions that they take to their end customers, some of the financial impacts on their business, and their own resource constraints. So, at the heart of partner empathy is understanding our partners business and designing our products and our programs to truly create a win-win to make it easy for our partners to do business with us and to make it easy for them to serve their end customers in a real profitable way.
What parts of the program are you most excited about?
Jason: I’m most excited that we have represented one of our key channel philosophies around partner empathy in the design and delivery of the new program. It’s going to make us a better vendor for our partners, and I think it’s going to help our partners be even stronger and better, working alongside our teams around the world. The new Barracuda partner program is truly going to drive a lot more engagement at the local level, whether that’s working with our marketing teams, our SE teams, our sales and renewals teams, our dedicated MSP teams, and our alliance and our marketplace teams.
What are two concreate things that have been enhanced in the program that can help partners?
Alli: Two things I’m really excited about that we’re introducing as part of the new Partner Success Program are our refreshed and revamped deal registration form and strengthened renewals partner-of-record documentation. We’ve made significant improvements to the deal registration form itself, improvements to the UI to simplify completion. We know deal registration is a key element of a partner program, and we have really made an effort to improve that experience for our partners so they can get in, provide the information they need to about the opportunity, and get out and get back to their day. In addition to that, we’ve also strengthened the requirements and protections around the renewals partner-of-record incumbency. Renewals are a major piece of our partners’ business, and we want to make sure that we’re protecting our partners and their renewal opportunities when they are active in those accounts. We want to ensure that our partners have the resources that they need to service their customers and retain them for life.
Could you tell me a bit more about the customer success certification and how it helps partners?
Jason: Like a number of vendors in the industry, Barracuda has made notable investments in our customer success capabilities. As we see trends towards as-a-service consumption models and product-led growth models, that’s putting more and more of an emphasis on customer lifecycle management. As Barracuda has invested more and more in customer success, we’re going to work hand in glove with our partners in a shared success model to deliver customer lifecycle management for our mutual customers. Many of the partners with whom that we speak on a day-to-day basis around the world are already at the forefront in building customer success practices, but there are also many partners that are still in the learning stage. We wanted to bring what we consider a first-in-the-industry customer success certification to our partners to help them understand more around this trend of customer success, what it is, why is it’s happening in the industry, what the benefits are, and how they can work with our teams all around the globe to deliver that shared success model to our mutual end customers.
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