Rackspace has decided to make channel engagement more fun by adding "gamification" to its updated partner portal.
Reseller and referral partners of the managed cloud vendor, through technology provided by sales and marketing automation vendor Seismic, will be able to win points that can be exchanged for swag as they gain skills and accreditations across the Rackspace Cloud portfolio, Rackspace Channel Chief Lisa McLin told CRN USA.
While competing for branded goods adds some frivolity to the enablement process, it also allows Rackspace to more-closely track what partners are prioritizing in their practices.
"We want to get a better understanding of what partners like from us, what content is resonating with them," McLin said. "Gamification is just the way to make it fun so that our partner portal is different from everyone else's. It grabs the attention of newer professionals, who are very competitive."
Partners can log into the new portal and win points as they complete activities that are tiered by levels of importance, which can be exchanged for such items as mugs, t-shirts and socks.
On the backend, the Seismic platform tracks content partners are downloading, providing Rackspace with valuable metrics on channel interest, she said.
Rackspace guides partners as they engage marketing resources and self-training videos. The content incorporates all Rackspace products, from its managed container and security platforms, to the Sitecore Managed Cloud that sits on Microsoft Azure, to its "fanatical" programs around Azure or Amazon Web Services.
All the content comes direct from Rackspace's internal sales division to ensure consistent skills and messaging across the Rackspace sales ecosystem, McLin said.
Providing the same enablement resources as are available to direct sales representatives both empowers partners and is cost-efficient, she said.
"At the end of the day, our partners are our sales team, so we're treating them the way we would treat an employee and giving them the very best content," she said.
"Since taking over the channel, I have realized enablement is key to your partners' success. And if partners are successful, the program and our company will be successful."