Vendor’s Unity+ channel program addresses growing XaaS model
Security and application delivery specialist F5 Networks is rolling out an expansion of its Unity channel program that’s designed to incentivize partners to sell more of the company’s software and services.
The Lowdown: The Unity+ program, announced this week, addresses the growing trend among enterprises toward consuming technology through the cloud and as-a-service rather than via hardware purchases.
The Details: With the growing adoption of software-based solutions and services, F5 is aiming to reward channel partners that can adapt their business models to meet changing customer demands. The Unity+ program offers revenue incentives and other rewards for investing in new selling strategies, giving partners greater flexibility in selling F5 products in the way that best meets customer needs.
The changes come after an initiative by F5 officials to get feedback from partners. Along with new incentives and rewards, the program includes rebates, development funds for partners, support services, and greater deal registration differentiation. In addition, F5 is offering alignment with the company’s channel sales teams, joint go-to-market activities, support services, and pre-sales technical training.
The new requirements and benefits will launch Oct. 1, and F5 will continue to roll out additions to the program throughout 2020.
The Impact: Partners throughout the tech industry are having to adapt their business models to meet the demands from customers that are moving more of their business to the cloud and embracing everything-as-a-service (XaaS) as a way to acquire and use technology, including software and infrastructure. Vendors also are making the shift toward more solutions, services, and recurring revenue models and are relying more on partners to accelerate the transition.
Background: Analysts with market research firm iMarc are forecasting the global XaaS market to grow 24% a year between now and 2024. IDC analysts say public cloud spending – which includes both services and infrastructure – will grow 22.3% a year over the next five years, hitting almost $500 billion by 2023.
The Buzz: “Digital transformation is touching every one of our customers, and this is changing how they want to purchase and consume technology. In this environment, partners are critical to delivering a superior customer experience,” said Colleen McMillan, vice president of global channels at F5. “Unity+ is built to be flexible, simple, and profitable, offering the differentiation and benefits partners need to grow their business with our expanding portfolio of application solutions and services. Our partners are core to everything we do and a critical part of F5’s overall growth strategy. Unity+ demonstrates our commitment to the channel. This is not a one-time investment but a sustained effort to ensure mutual success through uniquely collaborative relationships and the best partner experience that drives greater global customer adoption.”
“We’re excited by the way F5 is embracing simplicity and flexibility in addressing the realities of how our business model is changing,” said Brian Ortbals, vice president of advanced technologies at World Wide Technology (WWT). “We look forward to working closely together through Unity+, jointly driving great value for our customers and mutually growing our business.”