A home-grown partner automation stack thwarted Vertiv, an enterprise tech giant with more than $4 billion in annual sales and 21,000 employees, from achieving its objectives with partners. But after evaluating different tech options, Vertiv turned to PRM-leader Impartner. Now, Vertiv is poised to scale to new heights. Here’s its story.
With a decades-long legacy in enterprise infrastructure, Vertiv launched anew in 2016 with a mission to serve enterprise organizations that need help modernizing their digital connectivity, data use and infrastructure. While most of the company’s sales efforts have been direct, Vertiv was keen on building a healthy indirect business with the help of business partners. Alas, a home-grown tech stack that Vertiv relied upon to onboard, manage and reward partners wasn’t up to the task. With the company’s old technology, for example, the simple task of onboarding a new partner took three workdays — an eternity in today’s world of digital transformation.
Recognizing that it needed to make a change, Vertiv turned to Impartner. Together, the two companies embarked on a mission to launch a new partner automation platform in 30 weeks across five regions and in 17 languages. The challenge galvanized Vertiv leaders.
“Once [our executive team] saw that we were delivering on the promises of rapid deployment, then they got very excited,” says Martin Coulthard, senior global director of digital customer experience. “Their support just bred the continued success of the project.”
Coulthard credits the teamwork Vertiv established with Impartner for greatly accelerating the automation deployment. The speed, scale and attention to detail was superb, Coulthard says. And the results show.
The three days that it once took to onboard a new partner? That’s been reduced to just 90 seconds. Moreover, Impartner technology has provided Vertiv a way to extend consumer-like experiences to thousands of partners scattered across the globe. Since launching the program, Vertiv has scaled its partner program massively. In mere months, the program has grown to 12,000 partners — several times what Vertiv had before. Without Impartner PRM, there is simply no way that Vertiv could have onboarded as many partners so quickly and efficiently, Coulthard says.
In addition to onboarding, Vertiv paid particularly close attention to things that mattered most to partners. Take deal registration, for example.
“The principal reason why a reseller goes to a manufacturer’s portal is to register a deal. With that clear understanding, we prioritized the deal registration journey in our portal design. Anyone logging into the portal can find a nice, clear and simple user interface with which they can use to get a deal registered quickly and efficiently,” says Coulthard.
With Impartner’s input, gleaned over hundreds of engagements with customers, Vertiv concluded that a simpler deal registration experience was better than an overly complex one. The 15, 20 and in some case 25 different data fields Vertiv once requested were significantly reduced to a relative meaningful few. Little wonder that milestones and objectives were quickly reached. Within a few months of becoming fully operational, the value of deals registered on Vertiv’s automation platform climbed to $500 million. Months later, the figure topped the $800 million threshold.
Today, Vertiv has a complete window into the most detailed operations of its entire channel operations. And for the first time, its partners have a single pane of glass with which they can access any Vertiv tool, support process or sales materials they need to help grow their relationship with Vertiv and better support their customers.
This, Coulthard says, is just the beginning.
For the remainder of 2021 and beyond, Vertiv has a number of developments planned or already underway. This includes embracing Impartner Through Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA), Impartner’s Google Ads tool and Impartner’s partner locator, too. The latter, Vertiv believes, “will be a game changer” that gives Vertiv a much better way of maintaining a database of 12,000 partner records. Very soon, partners themselves will be able to go into the partner portal to update their company profiles and view for themselves how they will be represented on vertiv.com.
Upon reflection, Coulthard says he couldn’t be more pleased at what he and his team have accomplished.
“We were a challenger in the channel, so we had to do something different in order to attract new partners from established competitors to our partner program,” he says. “We have achieved our expectations and are eager to put even more milestones behind us.”
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