Websense tries two-tier channel

Websense tries two-tier channel


In a bid to prevent channel conflict and reward focused partners, Websense has re-jigged its channel strategy around a two-tier reseller model.

Websense develops software that enables employers to govern how their staff access the Internet at work. The company has unveiled its Websense Channel Partner Program, which places resellers into one of two groups, Premier and Partner.

To achieve Premier-level status, resellers must meet an annual revenue target and have at least one Websense Certified Systems Engineer (WCSE) on staff. For this commitment, resellers will receive a quarterly business plan designed by Websense's distributors, Alstom IT and Digital Networks Australia, special margins on product, and access to Websense's lead-generation program, according to Graham Pearson, Websense's Asia-Pacific regional director.

As a Premier reseller, companies will also be able to charge corporate customers for installation and the provision of a three to four-hour training program.

Partner status, on the other hand, is widely open to Alstom IT and Digital Networks Australia's resellers.

Pearson said the company is looking to appoint a maximum of five Premier resellers in each of New South Wales and Victoria, with four Premier resellers appointed in the other states and territories. The company also has plans to select a number of national Premier resellers, Pearson said.

Websense generated around $600,000 in revenues for its channel partners last year, and Pearson is confident that figure will grow to around $3 million in 2002.

"We created the Premium Partner Program after six months of research, including meetings with channel vendors to discuss their programs, and interviews with end users about their product purchase behaviours," Pearson said. "This new program will allow our partners to work more closely with us to increase their profits."

Pearson said the vendor hopes to appoint Premier resellers to address certain vertical markets such as government, banking and finance, and ASX 100 companies. Currently, Websense is sold by systems integrators and services companies Dimension Data and Powerlan.

Websense is designed to protect companies and its employees from the threat of legal action through blocking offensive Internet content. It is also used to prevent "cyber-slacking", or unproductive Internet surfing by employees.

Pearson said the software offers "total flexibility" for businesses to manage Internet usage through time-based quotas of free surfing, as well as controlled access to certain sites.

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