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F5 defines consistent partner experience

Alex Scroxton
Application delivery specialist F5 Networks has introduced a new EMEA partner programme and sought to quell uncertainty surrounding the future of its distribution channel.

The new UNITY programme is an adapted version of a pre-existing scheme that the firm has already rolled out in the North American theatre, 5 worldwide channel sales vice president Dean Darwin told MicroScope.

According to F5 the new scheme is designed to provide a consistent reseller experience and unified price list across Europe - something it previously lacked - in response to partner requests for cross-border support, and is marked out by a defined, rigid rule set.

"With many programmes there are hidden rules and, for example, a partner may never find out why his deal registration was rejected," explained F5 EMEA channel sales director Michael Schoenrock.

"Here everything is documented, which forces us and partners to stick to a consistent set of rules," he added.

This programme includes improved margin support through defined expectations, and new entry criteria to establish more balanced treatment of resellers within the programme.

Darwin also denied suggestions that F5 was on the verge of unceremoniously cutting out some of its distribution channel as part of the programme relaunch.

"The distribution landscape has evolved over time, so we have asked all distributors to provide us with an investment plan, and what we have done is to set the bar and finely defined what it means to be a value added distributor," he explained.

"However the bar is not set that high, it's very common-sense based," he said. "We believe it's a fair bar that every distributor can make if they invest."

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