Security vendor WatchGuard Technologies has been overwhelmed by an enthusiastic response to a certification program launched in December.
In the first three months to March 2002, the company certified over 200 resellers internationally after originally aiming for around 120.
In Australia, eight resellers have been certified under the Secure Partner Program, including the likes of Leading Solutions and Kanbay. According to Liesl Frankenfeld, channel marketing manager for WatchGuard Technologies Asia-Pacific, there are over 40 resellers in the country that are currently in the process of applying for the certification.
Once resellers apply, they are able to choose between classroom training at one of the vendor's two certified training partners, LAN Systems and Firewall Systems, or through an online training course on WatchGuard's Web site. The staff can then sit an online exam to ensure they have the necessary competencies for the certification.
Resellers can achieve Professional-level certification by passing an examination in firewalling basics, or Expert-level certification after passing a more in-depth examination on server security.
Certified resellers are rewarded with product rebates, promotion on the vendor's Web site, field support and demonstration product reimbursements.
Frankenfeld said it was important for WatchGuard to value its partners on their skills and competencies rather than the volume of product they sell. "Security is a fairly specialised market," she said. "How well you are represented [as a vendor] is determined by the competency of who is selling and supporting your products."