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F5's New North American Channel Program Empowers Resellers to Increase Their Value and Differentiation

The "F5 Lightning" channel partner program strikes hard to increase partner effectiveness, open doors to new application markets, and reward partners for delivering greater value

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), today launched F5 Lightning, a comprehensive new channel partner program available to the F5 reseller community in North America. The program helps partners more effectively execute in the highly competitive and lucrative ADN market. The F5® Lightning program, crafted to help channel partners increase their value and profitability in the current economy, consists of four key areas: (1) Enhancements to Deal Registration, (2) New Service Renewal programs, (3) Application delivery-specific programs to open up new application opportunities, and (4) Removal of partner audits in 2009, enabling partners to focus their attention on driving revenue.

"I am extremely excited about the reaction this pivotal program is receiving from our channel partner community," said Dean Darwin, VP of North American Channel Sales at F5. "F5 is not only investing in our partners and increasing partner effectiveness, we are also helping partners truly build deeper application delivery competencies to add more value for our customers."

"F5's new partner program is designed to create and facilitate a healthier channel community," said Janet Waxman, Vice President Infrastructure Channels and Alliances at IDC, a leading analyst firm. "It is clear that they are creating an offering that rewards partners appropriately based on their business model, and the program is careful not to paint the F5 partners and the extended ecosystem with the same brush."

F5's new program delivers an enhanced set of programs to help drive the reseller's business. It is designed to strengthen partners' ability to execute, improve their differentiation, and increase their success. Program highlights include:

Deal Registration 2.0 with Partner Value Discount - F5's Deal Registration program is transitioning to a three-tier model that fully defines how partners can add value. Too many vendors today leave partners in the dark about where and how to add value or why deal registrations are approved or disapproved. F5 is now differentiating between fulfillment opportunities and value-add activities by adding a third tier to the Deal Registration program called Partner Value Discount (PVD). PVD is supported by specific, documented rules that are measureable for both partners and F5.

Application Delivery Channel Programs - To help partners sell into new application deployments, such as VMware and Microsoft solutions, the F5 Lightning program increases and enhances partner opportunities by:

  • Introducing F5 resellers to new sales prospects: The Microsoft Solution Provider Referral Program opens up new sales opportunities to F5 channel partners.
  • Offering education, services, and marketing programs to support partners: One example is an enhanced partnership with North American distributor Westcon, which enables partners to offer customers support for Microsoft application environments.
  • Rewarding partners for selling into VMware environments: F5 will provide additional incentives to partners who sell into a new or existing VMware infrastructure.

Service Renewal Enhancements - F5 now allows Specialist Partners to transact Service Renewals with special incentives. And, in the future, the program will provide some exclusivity for partners who routinely sell into existing accounts.

No Partner Audits in 2009 - In 2009, F5 has suspended partner tier audits to enable partners to focus exclusively on driving new business revenue.

"We're extremely pleased with the new and improved elements of F5's channel program," said Jeff Mullarkey, CEO of RKON, a market-leading provider of IT network and security infrastructure solutions. "It's the most forward-looking partner program I've seen in a long time. With an incentive plan designed around partner preference and behavior, the F5 Lightning program will be much more effective, and its impact over the long haul will set the stage for a winning environment for everyone involved."

"F5's new channel program offers a truly compelling value proposition for our business," said Tim Hause, President of Interclypse, a provider of high-end consulting services and solutions-based engineering for the Intelligence Community. "We measure our performance on customer satisfaction and the overall success of the solutions we deploy. As such, F5's focus on ensuring that application rollouts are successful and rewarding partners who deliver greater value is very much aligned with our company mission."

The F5 Lightning program is being rolled out to partners throughout 2009. For more information, please visit www.f5.com/partners/lightning-program.html.

About F5 Networks

F5 Networks is the global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), focused on ensuring the secure, reliable, and fast delivery of applications. F5's flexible architectural framework enables community-driven innovation that helps organizations enhance IT agility and dynamically deliver services that generate true business value. F5's vision of unified application and data delivery offers customers an unprecedented level of choice in how they deploy ADN solutions. It redefines the management of application, server, storage, and network resources, streamlining application delivery and reducing costs. Global enterprise organizations, service and cloud providers, and Web 2.0 content providers trust F5 to keep their business moving forward. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

F5 is a trademark or service mark of F5 Networks, Inc., in the U.S. and other countries. All other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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This press release may contain forward looking statements relating to future events or future financial performance that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of such terms or comparable terms. These statements are only predictions and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements based upon a number of factors including those identified in the company's filings with the SEC.

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