A rapidly expanding market with opportunity for good margins and services revenue is the bait that Checkpoint is hanging out to the channel, as it aggressively recruits official Australian partners.
Checkpoint recently signed on AlphaWest as a "premier" partner and is in "final negotiations" with five other potential premier partners and two more "authorised" partners, said Shelley Houghton, Checkpoint's recently appointed channel business manager.
As first reported in ARN in August (see August 5, page 6), Com Tech was signed on as the initial premier partner, while Adelaide reseller Ardec was at that time made the first authorised reseller.
Houghton said she is initially looking for services-focused businesses that might already have a security division to sign on as premier partners. Expertise within particular vertical markets would also be a significant edge.
Houghton claimed there were massive potential rewards for Checkpoint partners.
"The security market is so new we still have products that can command significant margins," she said. "What's more, the product component is generally only 25 per cent of the total overall sale. There are always big services opportunities in any security sale."
Checkpoint's channel program is still relatively young and Houghton claimed the com-pany was particularly willing to listen and act on the advice of its early partners.
Official partners receive marketing and co-op funds, as well as leads generated by Checkpoint.
"Vendors talk about giving leads to partners, but never do. We really do. I was just sorting through 500 Australian leads that arose from enquiries from our Web site and were gener-ated over the last two to three months. Next year we are going to do even more in terms of lead generation."
Premier partners also get direct access to Checkpoint's support centre and developers. Additionally, Checkpoint will open up a local support centre in Sydney early next year.
To qualify, business partners must have staff accredited as Checkpoint Certified Security Engineers (CCSE). Premier partners must have two CCSEs per location, while authorised resellers need only have one per location. Training for the certification is offered by Com Tech and AlphaWest Training. It takes five days and costs around $3000.