How top vendors are injecting sustainability into partner programs
- 07 June, 2021 16:37
HP, Salesforce and VMware have been named as the three most sustainability-driven vendors, according to a new report.
Analyst firm Canalys pointed to the three vendors as looking ahead with their moves to bring partner programs to the channel with long-term sustainability benefits.
“HP, Salesforce and VMware have each approached sustainability with partners differently using partner programs, but their participation in the discourse has allowed them to show leadership within their communities," the firm claimed.
HP’s Amplify Impact Partner Program, for example, focuses on providing its Amplify partners with ways to benefit from improving sustainability practices, offering training, sales and marketing resources, and a return and recycling program for end-of-life HP products.
The program is split into two levels — Changemaker and Catalyst. The Changemaker tier is for partners building out their sustainability plans and sees HP working with partners to implement at least two sustainability initiatives.
Meanwhile, the Catalyst tier is aimed at those that are comparatively more advanced in sustainability practices, with personalised sustainability assessments on offer for partners to identify technical aspects and requirements around such initiatives. Meanwhile, partners need to report sale opportunities influenced by sustainability for measurement by the vendor.
For Salesforce, it is set to add the Lead pillar to both its global Consulting and AppExchange partner programs during fiscal year 2022, consisting of both Equality and Sustainable Development initiative, which are all based on the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
By participating in “Sustainable Development”, Salesforce partners can take up two out of three methods — monetary donation, voluntary time and corporate policy, like environmental action commitment and supplier code of conduct — to earn up to 50 points that go towards their annual partner program renewal.
“By introducing the ‘Lead' pillar, Salesforce can better understand the impact its partners are having and grow together as a community,” Canalys claimed.
VMware is one of the more recent vendors to make a move into the partner sustainability space with its VMware Zero Carbon Committed Initiative, which is described by the research firm as a longer-term plan to promote cloud providers with sustainability and decarbonisation goals.
Participation in the initiative requires cloud providers to achieve “Cloud Verified” status with at least one Cloud Verified data centre, as well as a public commitment on their website to either use 100 per cent renewable energy or reach net-zero carbon by 2030, or have over 50 per cent renewable energy by 2025, for data centre operations, VMware cloud solutions inclusive.
In addition, providers need to achieve at least 15 per cent of these goals by the end of 2021. According to Canalys, five partners are part of the initiative — Atea, Equinix, IBM, Microsoft and OVHcloud.
While these are the major initiatives taking place throughout the channel, other vendors are beginning to make moves as well, including Cisco inviting submissions on sustainability ideas and HPE achieving TCO certification for its ProLiant XL 170r Gen 10 and XL225n Gen10 Plus servers from TCO Certified — a global certification organisation to promote sustainability in IT.
Meanwhile, HPE, Microsoft and Facebook have committed to making patents based on low-carbon innovations available for free, while Fujitsu, Google Cloud and Microsoft are conducting research with partners like Siemens Digital and NTT on research and development of sustainable technology.
Taking on sustainability initiatives benefits not only the environment but can also generate commercial opportunities, Canalys claimed. In fact, Accenture, Wipro and Ingram Micro are finding such opportunities.
“Accenture and Wipro, for example, have seen opportunities in sustainability and set up dedicated practices to capture the growth opportunities," the firm said. "UK partner Stone Group just announced a partnership with Ingram Micro to offer IT asset disposal services in France, Germany, Holland and Spain.”
“When assessing businesses for mergers and acquisitions, investors also consider sustainability as a factor, taking account of climate risk, and operational, financial and manpower issues, among other things, when evaluating long-term prospects," Canalys added.