A10 Networks criticises F5 for “destructive competition” in channel; looks to reduce partner numbers to focus on committed few
Application networking vendor A10 Networks has set out a new channel strategy for EMEA that will see the firm focus on a smaller number of partners – but offer them increased margins.
The channel shake-up coincides with the launch today of a new partner programme, Ten4A10. In A10’s larger EMEA territories the programme will have a maximum of 10 members with one distributor, two Gold, three Silver and four Bronze partners, in order, it says, to deliver transparency across its partner community.
“We do not want hundreds of partners across EMEA as we then end up in the unfortunate situation that F5 Networks finds itself where partners are locked in destructive competition that results in extremely slim margins,” explains the firm’s recently appointed VP of sales for EMEA, Andre Stewart. “Instead, we will work closely with each partner on 10 target accounts to help grow or win new business instead of spreading our resources too thinly which helps neither us as a company, our partners or end-customers.”
Stewart says the changes are a result of the current state of the Application Delivery Controller (ADC) market and feedback from partners. “If you look at the vendor landscape, we have F5 Networks with an over-extended channel that is fighting over margin while selling an overpriced product. Cisco has deserted the ADC sector and is pushing its channel to compete with Citrix partners in offering NetScaler.
“Our channel partners are looking for a vendor with a commitment and product set that allows them to maintain a profitable long term relationship. Our new Ten4A10 programme states our intention to truly focus on quality over quantity and matches our words with benefits for the partners who are prepared to commit,” he maintains.
A10 Networks is 100 percent channel centric within EMEA and currently has around 70 transacting partners served through distribution. With the launch of the new programme, only a maximum of 10 per country will be supported directly through a channel manager with an associated set of benefits around training, support and marketing. A10 Networks will increase margins by approximately 10 percent across all tiers with additional margin uplift through deal registration and customer reference programmes.
The new Ten4A10 strategy and supporting programme will be implemented in A10’s highest revenue producing EMEA regions including the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.
The vendor says it is currently in discussion with partners to define its initial Ten4A10 partners and supporting distribution channels in each region, and a new list of approved channel partners will be announced during Q1 of 2013.