Australian partners have become “part of the conversation” at Check Point’s Tel Aviv offices, with the company’s inaugural Australian channel partner tour opening up greater dialogue between local partners and the company’s Israel operations.
The Check Point Security Technical Tour 2016, which saw representatives from several local partner organisations jet off to Check Point’s global headquarters in Israel during September, was aimed at giving Australian partners the opportunity to discuss the company’s products and services directly with the teams behind their development.
The tour was the result of a joint effort between Check Point and distributor, Arrow ECS, which distributes the security software company's products and services in the local market.
Subnet business development manager, Mark Johnson, was one of the local partners who attended the tour, joined by members of Empired, Content Security, Asterisk Information Security, Aleron, and IPSec, among other local partner organisations.
For Johnson, the visit to Tel Aviv gave him the ability to be part of an open dialogue with Check Point developers to whom he could offer feedback that could be actioned immediately.
“We got to ask specific questions and we could get immediate feedback from the people who were designing, develop, and supporting those products,” Johnson told ARN.
“There was a lot of time dedicated to business development and some feedback sessions. That feedback has already been followed up on.
“I think we’re part of the conversation. We have to think about how big our region is, and how it’s supported.
"They’re already talking about sending people across to Australia to talk about some of the things we were giving product feedback about. That’s a step forward for us,” he said.
Johnson said that the event armed him with inside information about how Check Point competes against certain products in different market sectors. He believes this knowledge has given him a competitive edge in his local market.
According to Cameron Reis, Empired senior network engineer, the tour helped local partners “cut through red tape” and be exposed directly to Check Point people and technology that they would otherwise have never had the chance to come into contact with.
“You get the standard roadshows that come around for product updates. But to have this deep dive into a multitude of technologies was invaluable,” Reis told ARN.
Like Johnson, Reis feels that the event has helped to open up an ongoing two-way dialogue between Australia and Tel Aviv, with feedback from local partners set to fall on receptive ears in Israel.
“That opportunity to interact with global heads of departments was amazing,” Reis said. “They genuinely wanted our feedback, and really seemed to take it onboard.
“We were able to establish some direct relationships with people in Tel Aviv that we can capitalise on now that we’re back home. So, we now have this direct pipeline to technical experts and sales people that we didn’t have previously,” he said.
The Check Point tour is not the first such international trip for local partners sponsored by a multinational vendor, with many hardware and software providers habitually inviting partners and distributors to visit their far-flung operations in person.
However, both Reis and Johnson see the group tour format as an effective way forward for broadening dialogue and understanding between vendors and partners.
“This was sort of a prototype, but given the success and the feedback, I expect to see it as an annual occurrence,” Reis said.