Netgear dumps rebates for discounts in channel refresh

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Netgear dumps rebates for discounts in channel refresh

Surprisingly, the traditionally SMB-focussed vendor has accommodated enterprise resellers in the updated program, which are showing interest in Netgear's storage, security and switching products.

ProSafe partners will receive discounts on layer 2 and layer 3 switching of 10-15 percent, although the exact figures have not been finalised, said Ryan Parker, managing director of Netgear Australia and New Zealand.  

Partners signed up for the ProSecure range receive discounts of 10-15 percent. Discounts on ReadyNAS products are bid-based - "if the resellers come to us with a project then we will work something out," said Parker.

Apart from higher gross margins, other features of the program include performance incentives in the form of soft targets and no minimum-order requirements.

Parker said that Netgear's approach was more attractive than that of vendors which insisted their partners meet a minimum number of orders per month. "We are happy to work with resellers who are committed to working with Netgear. It doesn't matter whether you earn $500 a month or $50,000 a month, we want to help you be successful," said Parker.

Parker said the revamp was responding to feedback from channel partners.  

"I think resellers are getting frustrated with the rebate process. It's better to give them the money up front than to make them jump through hoops."

Parker admitted that upfront discounts would cost the vendor more money than the former rebate system, but denied that the move was linked in any way to the global financial crisis.

"No, [it's not linked] at all. It's about making sure that we are getting the right partners on board," said Parker. "Business has been quite strong over the past quarter. We have been quite surprised by how well retail has been going for us."

Parker said that although the vendor's range had traditionally focused on the SMB space, resellers were coming now from the enterprise space because they wanted to stretch their customers' budgets further.

He said the managed switch and storage ranges were finding a lot of interest, with a lifetime warranty on the switches and five year warranties on the ReadyNAS products. ProSecure offers an ongoing warranty as long as users keep updating their subscriptions to receive threat profiles.

The emergence of SMB-grade storage in the SAN is becoming more common, said Parker.

"People are still using the traditional SAN products for the core of the network, but we are seeing the ReadyNAS products adopted on the edges of the network. Local branch offices want to expand their capacity and they are using rsync to back up to a central SAN over their WAN links."

Another attraction is iSCSI support, which makes it possible to plug ReadyNAS units into VMware servers, said Parker.

"I think the performance of our box has been recognised as one of the best out there on the market," said Parker. Enterprise customers had been asking their resellers, "Is there another way of providing the same amount of features without the price tag?" added Parker.


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