Observability software developer New Relic is unveiling a significant revamp of its channel operations today, debuting a new partner program with increased resources to support the company’s growing number and range of channel partners.
The New Relic Partner Stack program, which replaces the older New Relic Partner Network, will provide partners with an expanded lineup of training and accreditation programs, sales tools and resources, marketing campaigns and additional personnel support.
The goal is to help partners expand beyond reselling to providing services around New Relic software and “become thought leaders in this space of observability,” said Riya Shanmugam, group vice president, global alliances and channels at New Relic, in an interview with CRN US.
“I think there are lots of opportunities to evolve and refresh our partner strategy to give more focus and emphasis and benefits and incentives for partners to grow their business with us,” said Shanmugam, who joined New Relic in November 2021. “That‘s really the path forward and how we are refocusing our strategy around partners.”
New Relic today works with more than 1,000 partners including resellers, referral and fulfilment partners, managed service providers, cloud service providers, global systems integrators and technology partners. The company doesn’t disclose how much of its sales – US$786 million in fiscal 2022 (ended March 31) – involve the channel, but Shanmugam described it as a “sizeable percentage.”
“One of the things that we are thinking about – and we are laser focused on with this initiative – is how we think about partners as an extension of our own teams,” the channel chief said. “And by that, I mean, we want our partners not just to resell, we want our partners also to be providing services. We want our partners to be thought leaders in using our products in this space of observability.”
New Relic markets a unified data observability platform that provides development engineers and IT support teams with the ability to collect IT system and application telemetry data (including metrics, events, logs and traces) and “full stack” analysis tools to measure and monitor system and application performance, and plan, build, deploy and manage enterprise software.
“Observability is a relatively young discipline – where we were with Cloud 10 years ago is where we are with observability today,” Shanmugam said.
Prior to New Relic’s focus on observability with its flagship New Relic Observability Platform, the company positioned itself in the application performance monitoring space with nearly 20 products. In addition to the shift in its product strategy, the company since 2020 also has been transitioning from a license sales model to a consumption-based pricing model.
These changes, combined with the growing adoption of cloud computing, has resulted in New Relic working with a much broader portfolio of channel partners.
“Channel partners, cloud providers, and technology partners are a key pillar of New Relic’s growth strategy,” said New Relic CEO Bill Staples in a statement. “We’re committed to developing a rich global partner ecosystem and have made significant investments in our partner organization to drive our partners’ growth and fuel New Relic’s global expansion and growth now and in the future.”
Strategic service provider CloudEQ has partnered with New Relic for several years, using the New Relic Observability Platform internally, implementing it for customers as part of its cloud professional service and application development offerings, and running it as part of its managed services portfolio, says CEO Sean Barker in an interview with CRN.
Barker sees the revamped partner program as New Relic’s recognition that it must “tap into the partner network” to reach new clients in the U.S. and across the globe. “I think it is critically important to their long-term growth, as well as their short-term growth,” he said.
New Relic Partner Stack resources
The four-tier New Relic Partner Stack program offers a range of benefits including co-marketing opportunities, co-branding assets, use-case development, deal registration, margin and renewal discounts, sales tools and training, product trials, technical support and resources, observability campaigns, and support from partner development managers and partner engineers, according to the company.
New Relic is also working with technology and developer partners who build products around the company’s platform, providing access to development sandboxes and demonstration environments.
And the company is offering customised training, where appropriate, and providing partner accreditations around technical, sales and service capabilities.
The company is also revamping its partner portal and has launched a Partner Advisory Board, part of its “Voice of the Partner” initiative, to help “influence, validate and impact” the partner program’s “direction, value and structure,” according to the company.
Barker at CloudEQ sits on that advisory board and said New Relic channel executives have been “very receptive to the ideas and concepts” from the board and take its “recommendations and suggestions very, very seriously.”
Barker praised the flexibility of the New Relic Partner Stack tiers, which he said accommodate partners that bring in lots of new clients as well as partners like CloudEQ that focus on providing services to – and generating multimillion-dollar deals with – very large Fortune 500 clients. “They‘ve been very receptive to that sort of approach.”
“I think the training, the tiering, and the investment that they‘re making in the partner community overall and the willingness to be open and transparent and provide an opportunity to accept, create, absorb and implement feedback, is really what is fantastic,” Barker said.
Meeting the tier requirements
While the new program and its resources are now live, Shanmugam said partners will have time to meet the new tier requirements. Tier achievement will be based on criteria including the amount of generated business and customer engagements, as well as the number of trained and accredited professionals.
“We can‘t do this without our partner ecosystem,” Shanmugam said. “There is a strong commitment and belief within New Relic that we want our partner ecosystem to be an extension of our own team as we continue to grow and as far as our growth goals are set in place.”
The changes come as New Relic has been staffing up its partner organization leadership. In addition to Shanmugam’s appointment, key hires include Akhil Kapoor as vice president of cloud and product partnerships; Jesse Clem as vice president, alliances and channels, Americas; Nic Harvey as senior director, partner sales, EMEA; Lily Wai as senior director, alliances and channels strategy; and Cindi Johnson, senior director, global partner marketing.
“They‘ve got some exceptional leadership that they brought on board,” CloudEQ’s Barker said. “They’re really doubling down in the partner space from an executive perspective and building out the support teams for partners.”