Splunk partners 'the growth engine' of new customer deals

Splunk partners were a major contributor to the vendor's growth in fiscal year 2019. Splunk says it aims to recruit more systems integrator partners in the year ahead.

Splunk has bolstered its channel program on the heels of a year's worth of sustained growth within its partner ecosystem.

Splunk partners were a significant contributor to the company's revenue for fiscal year 2019, which ended Jan. 31, the big data analytics vendor said. Splunk partner bookings increased 63% year over year, with partners registering more than 14,000 deals. Partners also contributed 76% of the company's total new customers, according to Splunk.

"We are really seeing partners as the growth engine for our new customers," said Brooke Cunningham, area vice president global partner programs, marketing and operations at Splunk, in an interview.

Cunningham said Splunk has about 1,700 active partners worldwide. Partner business types span resellers, managed services providers (MSPs), professional services firms, systems integrators (SIs) and technology alliance partners, she said. She noted that while resellers make up a large portion of the Splunk ecosystem, many of them "are starting to evolve their business model."

"We oftentimes see a partner participating both as a reseller and MSP," she said. "We are seeing a lot of converging of different partner business models as partners [embrace] some of the new consumption models for customers."

Splunk partner program enhancements

At its Global Partner Summit conference, held this week in Las Vegas, Splunk expanded its Partner+ Program with a formalized track for global and regional systems integrators. The track provides benefits specific to the systems integrator business model, including business investment funds and support for creating solutions and onboarding or enabling talent, Cunningham said.

Brooke Cunningham, area vice president of global partner programs, marketing and operations at SplunkBrooke Cunningham

The formalized track "is going to allow us to expand the number of SIs that we are able to work with. [SIs have] certainly been an important part of our business, but we have had to focus more on a smaller set. Now we will be able to open that up ... and selectively recruit where it makes sense from a geographical expansion perspective and perhaps around use cases or verticals," she said.

Cunningham cited Accenture as one of Splunk's top global strategic alliance partners. She said Splunk has "learned a lot" through its partnership with the firm.

Splunk will also expand its partner rebate incentives in the coming year, Cunningham said. The company revealed it will continue to offer its incentive for acquiring new customers and launch rebates for landing multiyear deals and delivering professional services. Additionally, top-tier Splunk partners can earn a growth rebate for exceeding growth targets, she said. She added that incentives are stackable, so a partner could earn multiple rebates on the same deal.

Aziz Benmalek, vice president of worldwide partners and channel chief at SplunkAziz Benmalek

On top of launching the new SI track and incentives, Splunk will also be focused this year on further simplifying its deal registration process, enhancing the Splunk Partner Portal, and clarifying rules of engagement surrounding customer renewal policies, Cunningham said.

Attendees of the Splunk Global Partner Summit met the vendor's new vice president of worldwide partners and channel chief, Aziz Benmalek, who joined Splunk in February. Benmalek previously served as vice president of worldwide cloud and managed service providers at Microsoft.

Other news

  • Unified storage vendor Nexsan introduced the NexCouncil Partner Advisory Program. Program members gain access to Nexsan's executive team, quarterly product roadmap discussions and sales training, the vendor said. Members can also receive priority access to market development funds and other marketing resources.
  • Data protection vendor QuorumLabs revamped its MSP partner program in the Americas. Quorum said the program enhancements include expanded sales marketing support, deal registration protection, and volume pricing and other discounts.
    We are seeing a lot of converging of different partner business models as partners [embrace] some of the new consumption models for customers.
    Brooke Cunninghamarea vice president of global partner programs, marketing and operations, Splunk
  • Data management vendor Commvault appointed Karen Falcone as its vice president of worldwide cloud and service providers. In her new role, Falcone will identify opportunities for the vendor and its partners to develop joint offerings, Commvault said. Falcone joins Commvault from Sungard Availability Services, where she served as vice president of global channels.
  • CloudJumper, a cloud workspace software and services provider, has named Frank Pulliam as its North America channel sales manager. Pulliam will be responsible for increasing sales of the company's Cloud Workspace for Azure offering in the midmarket, CloudJumper said.
  • Data protection provider Arcserve hired Stephen Thomas as its North America senior vice president of sales. Thomas joins Arcserve after serving as senior vice president of sales at cloud security company Armor.
  • The MSP software landscape shifted on Monday when ConnectWise announced its acquisition by private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo. Read our blog post for insight into the buyout.

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