Sophos tidies up channel program

Sophos tidies up channel program

Sophos Anti-Virus tabled a revised three-tier partner strategy at its channel roadshow in Sydney last week, to clearly identify the benefits associated with certain levels of certification and to entice new resellers that are currently peddling competitive brands.

Resellers attending the roadshow applauded Sophos's idea to link technical certification to its sales incentive program in a Fly Buys-type model. For every sale made, a certain amount of points are awarded. The number of points depends on the certification level and when a certain quota is achieved resellers can select a prize from a catalogue or suggest their own reward.

Stuart Palmer, managing director of Sophos Australia, said the vendor, which has around 250 resellers nationally, has typically focused on margins around sales volumes. Now it is keen to make clear distinctions between partner levels so that resellers can clearly identify the advantages.

The new program supports Sophos's business shift towards a mainly indirect sales model. "Our margins are the highest in the [AV] arena. Sophos doesn't use a distributor, it manages the channel relationship itself. That is one less mouth to feed, which leaves more margin for the resellers," Palmer said.

In addition to passing all licence renewals onto resellers, Sophos doesn't sell in retail or the consumer space at all. "We are strictly business-focused and strictly AV-focused," said Palmer. Sophos technical support is developed with this business focus in mind -- engineers are available to assist resellers onsite and all customers have access to the same level of support regardless of which partner category they belong to.

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