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Morpheus Data Ramps Up Partner Program With $2M Investment

‘For some of the larger partners who really are investing in us, we want to invest just as much in them,’ Morpheus Chief Marketing Officer Brad Parks tells CRN in an interview.

Morpheus Data, a provider of cloud application management and orchestration tools, plans to spend about $2 million in new channel investment with the aim of accelerating indirect channel revenue in 2021.

The investment will go toward more market development funds, 10 percent additional back-end rebates for certain partners and training incentives for certain partner sales, among other benefits.

The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based company also promises new joint go-to-market programs for systems integrators and managed service providers (MSPs), according to a statement Tuesday.

Morpheus Chief Marketing Officer Brad Parks said in an interview with CRN that more than 95 percent of Morpheus’ revenue comes from relationships with local, regional and global partners. He wants the new investment to expand revenue opportunities for partners, enhance service delivery capabilities and accelerate growth this year.

“For some of the larger partners who really are investing in us, we want to invest just as much in them,” Parks said.

[RELATED: VMware Launches ‘Game-Changer’ Lifecycle Partner Program]

Morpheus grew its revenue by about 70 percent from 2019 to 2020, Parks said. The company has added more than 100 customers to its platform in the last 12 months, with a lot of demand for Morpheus tools to bring the public cloud experience on-premises and expand control to public clouds. The company has about 75 employees and plans to reach 100 by the end of the year.

The company’s tools are meant to help customers modernize applications with virtual machines, containers, public cloud and other technologies from a variety of manufacturers, including VMware, Red Hat and AWS.

Earlier this year, Flexera identified multi-cloud strategies as one of the four key cloud trends that will influence 2021.

With the global pandemic, more enterprises are looking for ways to enable remote working and modernize their technology for virtual environments, Parks said.

“Most of our enterprises have all of those technologies, and they don’t want to be locked into any one tool stack,” he said. “We’re the leveling agent, we come in and we help connect all of those other technologies the partners have already sold into those enterprise accounts, so that they can manage and automate the workflows across those different technology stacks.”

And Morpheus wants to focus on technology more than services, hence the investment in partners, Parks said. And it sees a robust partner program as key to scaling.

The $2 million in programs and incentives to accelerate indirect channel revenue this year will come in four areas. One area is 10 percent additional back-end rebates for partners that meet year-over-year growth and annual contract value targets. Morpheus also has funded headcount for its highest-grossing partners.

Another investment area is $500,000 in initiative-based market development funds to expand geographic coverage and increase the opportunity funnel for Morpheus partners.

In the third investment area, Morpheus is offering $400 for each partner-led deal registration resulting in a qualified opportunity within 30 days, plus an incentive of up to $10,000 for each deal that closes in 2021.

The final investment area is $100 in training incentives for any partner sales and pre-sales engineer who completes the certification training tracks online in the Morpheus partner portal.

Parks joined Morpheus in 2017 after about 12 years with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In four years, Morpheus’ partner program has grown to include 100-plus certified partners. The company counts among its global system integrators (GSIs) Deloitte, Peraton and Unisys. Its MSP relationships include BT, Fujitsu and Lumen Technologies.

Some partners see multipliers as high as 10 times their revenue from related services, hardware and software from working with Morpheus, he said.

“We find that the partners that do best with us are those who, similarly, are building out cloud automation practices,” Parks said. “They may have a ServiceNow practice. They‘ve got expertise around the technologies that we integrate with. They need to know the universe of third party technologies that we pull together in order to be effective.”

For Sandy Salty, chief marketing officer at Morpheus partner Trace3, the company has two parts of its program that make it a great opportunity for partners: “funded head,” a distributor employee paid for by the supply partner, and guaranteed margin. Companies rarely offer both, she told CRN in an interview.

“Morpheus has the rare trifecta — an incredibly channel-forward team, a technology portfolio with market demand that satisfies the needs of IT and the lines of business, and a compelling profitability profile,” said Salty, whose company is No. 41 on CRN’s 2021 Solution Provider 500.

Morpheus’ attention to who it allows in its partner program also gives Salty confidence that the program won’t become oversaturated with channel partners that share the same specializations and markets, she said. Plus, a company can run into too much spending on partner benefits with too many partners in the ecosystem.

“The bigger the channel partner ecosystem, the more likely it can take away what made the company special,” she said.

Founded in 2015 with origins in the technology used at California-based private equity firm Bertram Capital, Morpheus Data has raised $9.2 million in funding to date, according to Crunchbase.

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