SurfControl looks to distribution for growth

SurfControl looks to distribution for growth

Newly appointed partner manager plots out new national focus

SurfControl's first dedicated national partner manager is planning to sign on a distributor to strengthen its local channel.

Daniel Crnkovich, who was promoted from a sales manager role, said his first point of focus as partner manager was getting the vendor's national support programs in order. This was part of a broader plan to take a more localised approach to dealing with resellers.

"We have always had a channel focus, but it's never been run on a national level," he said. "We needed to be able to start building a structure with our partners where we had a national program.

"Being able to coordinate nationally means we end up getting better support in each state."

It would also allow the vendor to improve technical skill levels across its channel, he said.

Alongside his appointment, Crnkovich said the vendor had also invested in state business development and partner managers to work with its premium resellers.

"We're offering some benefits through programs where we look at the partne's business," he said. "We can provide rebates across product lines, which is a way to build that business' bottom line. We can also provide day-to-day attention and have more visibility in each state."

Crnkovich said SurfControl was looking to take all of its sales indirect. This will include opening up direct customer relationships to resellers. Currently, channel represents 78 per cent of its total business.

The vendor has about 100 resellers nationally, 30 of which are under contract. Although he could not disclose the name of the new distributor at this time, Crnkovich said most partners would already have a relationship with the company.

Having a distribution tier would allow SurfControl to improve market penetration of its broader products portfolio, he said.

"We have traditionally been sold through security software resellers, but our solutions mix has grown: we have a variety of hardware appliances for Web and email, as well as our Cloud on-demand service," he said. "What we've found is we now have different resellers for different products that haven't been our partners before.

"We need to stock more items to cater to this. A distributor will allow us to provide a better level of service."

Crnkovich was previously SurfControl's sales manager for the northern region and has been with the company since 2001. He has 10 years in the industry, including a stint with point-of-sale provider, Whitech Solutions.

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