Welcome to the inaugural Channel Partner Program Roundup, our weekly collection of channel partner program updates. Our goal at The VAR Guy is to offer up the important, need-to-know details of partner program changes every Thursday without all the fluff.

In this first edition, we highlight moves by Riverbed Technology, which has added specializations, and F5 Networks, which has built a program specifically for security-focused VARs. Here are the details:

Riverbed Technology: Riverbed is expanding on its Riverbed Partner Network with new enablement programs, rebates and other financial incentives as well as more training programs to help partners become competent across the entire Riverbed technology portfolio.

The new program, which kicks off April 1, 2012, rewards partners for expanding their sales of Riverbed's technologies. To assist, Riverbed has developed educational programs to help partners get up to speed with the portfolio, from its Steelhead WAN optimization appliances to its Whitewater cloud-storage offering. Partners who complete certain Technology Authorization Paths, or TAPs, or target accounts named by Riverbed can earn additional discounts.

The idea behind the program changes, noted Carolyn Crandall, VP of Worldwide Marketing at Riverbed, is to get partners thinking of Riverbed's technology as a complete, end-to-end solution for web optimization and acceleration -- or, as Riverbed puts it -- a "performance platform."

F5 Networks: F5 Networks has designed a channel program, VAULT, aimed specifically at its partners focusing on its security solutions. VAULT, which is part of the company's larger UNITY channel partner program, provides partners with targeted incentives, financial rewards and technical training resources.

As part of VAULT is the ELEVATE credit card program, in which partners can earn points for initiating and closing F5 security deals and for completing specific sales and business development activities. The points are assigned to the partner’s F5 ELEVATE prepaid MasterCard, and offers immediate payouts to partners that achieve joint sales engagements.

Also included in the program are special sales incentives for deals that feature F5’s data center firewall solution and a new security bundle, which includes F5’s BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager, Application Security Manager and Access Policy Manager.

And that, as they say, is that. Check back next Thursday for the latest channel program information to cross our collective inbox.

Note: Got a partner program update? Send the tip to thevarguy@ninelivesmediainc.com and we'll check it out.