Check Point will inject significant funds into joint marketing, education and seminars this year - a year it has dedicated officially to its channel partners.
At its partner conference in Sydney last week, the security vendor unveiled a full line-up of events aimed at clarifying its strategy in the marketplace and digging-out new opportunities in specific verticals.
Check Point's regional manager, Scott Ferguson said the company would forgo its usual trade-shows in favour of more vertical events, such as the recent two-day Retail Technology Expo in Sydney.
"We're putting the technology in a user perspective rather than comparing technology to technology," he said.
The vendor is focusing on state government, health, defence and manufacturing as growth segments for 2003, primarily on the back of wireless deployments.
Check Point has also cleaned up its partner list, segregating it into eight top-ranking Premier partners and 15 Authorised partners. Zento, AT&T and e-Secure are listed as managed service providers (MSPs) while Brennan IT Group and b-Sec fall into the consultants category.
Ferguson said the changes were to obtain clarity, both in terms of market segmentations and aptness in product sets. Authorised partners, for example, would be restricted to selling Check Point's Firewall-1 and VPN-1 products and SmartCenter management platform while Premier partners would have unrestricted access to the product list.
The vendor expected this to create some dissent amongst resellers in the initial stages, until they recognised that it was a mechanism to avoid conflict and demarcate each partners turf.
"We're asking partners to pick the market that they're going after because we want to add capacity to address markets that aren't being addressed," Ferguson said.
In September last year, the vendor created two separate internal divisions - one to deal with telcos, ISPs and MSPs and the other to deal with enterprise and government.
Check Point said it would continue to realign its resources from a strictly technical support capacity to a sales and marketing role.
For the first time it would engage in an Australia-specific advertising campaign targeted at CEOs rather than the CIOs and IT managers it typically pursued.