Sophos Improves Security Partner Program
Security vendor Sophos took the wraps off its newly revamped channel program, adding financial incentives, training, certifications, two separate tracks and an upgraded partner portal, in effect, mixing new ingredients with what it called the “best elements” of past offerings.
According to Sophos, in crafting the new program it specifically retained components of the channel program of Astaro, the network security vendor it acquired in 2011. Sophos, which sells exclusively through channel partners, gained 2,500 resellers with the Astaro acquisition.
“We are focused 100 percent on partners — they are the life blood of our organization so it is crucial for us to continue making significant investments in our channel,” said Mike McGuinness, Sophos senior vice president, Worldwide Sales and Field Operations.
Among the program upgrades, Sophos now segments partner participation into two tracks — one for resellers and another for solution providers looking to provide services to customers, a strategic focus for Sophos.
Each track is tiered by Platinum, Gold and Silver, with the highest benefits and rewards reserved for those partners that commit to certain sales volume levels and sales and technical certifications. All Sophos partners are granted a 12 percent base discount, to which increments can be added by uncovering and/or driving new business opportunities.
For example, Platinum- or Gold-level partners closing a deal from a Sophos-supplied lead can earn an additional 5 percent discount; those that dig up and finalize new business on their own can gain 8 percent to 18 percent of additional discount points.
Sophos’ partners registering net new sales opportunities are guaranteed a 7 percent commission even if the customer consummates the deal with another partner.
For training and enablement, Sophos has added three new certification courses, on-demand training modules available through the partner portal, which also offers a new quote and deal registration feature.
“We are very excited about this program, which we feel will generate tremendous success for our growing global partner base,” said McGuinness.
Under terms of the channel program, Sophos partners are free to sell the vendor’s entire product line, including the vendor’s new UTM 9, an expanded unified threat management platform that combines endpoint security and gateway security into one product, which the company rolled out earlier this week.
According to Sophos, UTM 9 enables organizations to save time and resources often squandered from configuring multiple endpoint solutions across their IT infrastructure.
UTM 9’s features include HTML5 VPN to enable secure remote application access without installing any software on the desktop, support for wireless hotspots and an integrated antivirus engine to scan email and web traffic with Sophos’ own technology and that of antivirus vendor Avira.
“This solution was conceived not only by our great integrated development team, but also by our passionate and active users who provided countless feature recommendations in our forums,” said John Shaw, Sophos vice president, product management.