Security vendor, Sophos, has revealed a new partner program and online portal offering enhanced vendor support and margin protection.
The vendor worked with channel specialists and partners globally to ensure they could offer a program that delivered the right incentives, margin and deal protection, training and support.
Channel sales manager, Zoe Nicholson, said the new program involved a lot of planning.
“We’ve made it very simple for partners and have tried to reduce the amount of administration time it takes to deal with us and we’re trying to increase the amount of profit for them,” she said.
The partner portal provides access to a variety of information including online marketing tools, online training, contacts in Sophos, online ordering, deal registration and protection.
The new program will also involve a recognition process for partners who achieve high levels of customer satisfaction and develop specialisations in specific product areas.
“They can see all of their customers, renewal dates, what products they have and so on,” she said. “The main benefit of that is the deal protection program. If you register a deal with us and work through the avenues of a deal registration, you will get the top margin depending on the areas of the partner program you fit into.”
To help reduce channel conflict, any partner that comes in after a deal registration has been made, will get a lower margin, Nicholson said.
“This helps to stop margin erosion that we constantly see on deals,” she said. “On the off chance that a second partner still manages to close that customer deal by discounting it extensively, we will still pay the partner that originally registered it, a 7 per cent fee on that deal.”
Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers still remain, but to aid partners to jump from Silver to Gold status, Sophos has also released a fast track system.
For example, if a Silver partner decides to further invest into the program, Sophos will offer them the benefits of a Gold partnership in terms of margin, but provide a period of time to fulfil their certification requirements.
To move into Gold, it would require the partner’s sales and technical team to go through training sessions. The security vendor has 875 partners with about 80 at the Gold level and 12 Platinum partners such as Data#3 and Dataflex.