Check Point announces channel review

Check Point announces channel review

Check Point has embarked on a major review of its entire channel in an attempt to tighten up skills and specialisations.

The security vendor's country manager, Scott McKinnel, said it had spent the past few years ensuring that its partner program was well established and supported. The company currently has about 35 direct gold and silver partners, along with a distribution tier catering to bronze and standard resellers.

The new review, which should be completed in the first half of next year, would take a closer look at its certified and skilled channel engineers, McKinnel said.

"Basically we are sanitising our partner base," he said. "We want to lift the bar on partner requirements and up-skill from an engineering perspective.

"Partners can be lax with engineering monitoring - for example, staff maintaining their certifications or moving on. We want to have a sustainable monitoring program in place."

Although partners were not required to meet specific revenue targets, McKinnel said it would review each reseller to ensure they met certification requirements for each tier. It was also working on measuring qualitative partner skills such as sales capabilities or a maintaining a security practice.

McKinnel said he had already identified three top level partners that no longer had the necessary skills for their rank. These companies had shifted their focus away from security and would be disengaged.

Check Point was also wanted to ensure it maintained a broad range of partners specialising in certain product sets, markets or geographies, he said.

"Instead of having partners doing all things, we want to identify what geographies they cover, and have a better alignment from a supply chain perspective," McKinnel said.

This view would also extend across the vendor's distribution partners: LAN Systems, Firewall Systems and Express Data, he said.

"We'll be looking at their core business and expectations, as well as their product positioning and market segmentation," McKinnel said.

The review could see it cull some partners and work with new distributors or resellers that provided better focus on specific technologies.

The renewed focus on channel skills follows the recent release of Check Point's NGX platform for unified security architecture. This had seen a range of updated training modules and new sales components come into play.

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