Live Blog: Sophos Talks Complete Security With Partners
Sophos, the endpoint security company, is pitching profitability and “complete security” strategies to its channel partners this week in Las Vegas. Senior VP Mike McGuinness (pictured) and VP Emmanuelle Skala are leading the charge at the Sophos Partner Connections 2012 conference. Check this blog for live updates over the next hour or so.
Most of the major security software providers — Kaspersky Lab, McAfee (now owned by Intel), Symantec and Trend Micro — have spent recent weeks claiming leadership in the SMB market. Now, Sophos is muscling into the spotlight — pitching “complete security” offerings that include encryption and secure tunneling for mid-market customers.
First Up: Mike McGuinness, senior VP of worldwide sales and field operations.
His key points:
- Sophos offers industrial-strength security for the mid-market. “Norton isn’t going to do it for you anymore.”
- Sophos has been protecting businesses for 25 years.
- “We are not selling customers a single point in time solution. Complete security from Sophos is a long-term value promise to the customer.”
- Ask your customers how data exits the business. “No matter what you do, data is exiting your business and you can’t stop it. Nor should you want to stop it in 99.9 percent of cases.” Instead, sell the customer on encryption at the file level.
- “How many of your customers have remote locations and remote workers?” said McGuinness. “I think most of them do.” For those remote locations, how do you keep them secure? “The easiest solution that Sophos has in its arsenal to sell is the remote Ethernet device that we inherited with the Astaro acquisition.” It creates secure tunnels between remote locations and centralized IT.
Next Up: Emmanuelle Skala, VP of global channels and sales operations (Sophos Channel Chief)
- “It is the year of the channel.”
- Skala reinforced five points that she believes make Sophos unique: (1) Complete security solutions (2) 100 percent commitment to the channel (3) a commitment to end-customers with an aggressive acquisition strategy (4) our people are passionate (5) continued investment in you (channel partners).
- Sophos and Astaro are integrating their channel programs for this year.
- New partner program approach has tracks for various types of partners — resellers, MSPs, solutions providers. (The VAR Guy will share more details later.)
- “Toward the end of the year, as the cloud capability comes to market,” Sophos will talk more about MSP-oriented solutions.
- New certifications will involve Certified Engineers, Certified Sales Consultants and Certified Architect programs.
- Sophos is refining its partner engagement model to ensure it’s aligned with partners, rather than forcing partners to align with Sophos, she said.
- Sophos will increasingly offer incentives and formalized programs to reward top partners.
- Launching a new partner portal around July 9 — a one-stop shop for deal registration, content, marketing tools, quote, and even place orders. “It’s a big, big investment,” said Skala. “We’re also working on EDI to help [partners] connect your systems to our systems.” EDI will arrive in Fall 2012, she said.
The VAR Guy will be back a little later to compare and contrast the Sophos strategy vs. endpoint security rivals.