In this regular monthly column, ARN examines the future channel strategies of vendors across Australia, chatting with Sophos channel director of Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), Jon Fox.
From a channel perspective, what are Sophos’ top priorities in 2017?
We are focused on continually improving our engagement with our partners through our programs, marketing and just day-to- day engagement.
We will also continue to educate the market around the security threats that are out there as they change every day. We’ll do this through providing a raft of virtual, face-to-face and hybrid training courses to ensure our partners are well equipped to help customers stay safe and secure.
From a product strategy perspective, Synchronised Security will continue to be our ultimate goal, so we’ll be pushing hard with our partners to get more customers onto our Sophos Central platform.
What are the major trends currently impacting the market?
Ransomware really is the major talking point at the moment, especially with what has happened with the WannaCry attacks. The reality is hackers are smart and they’re coming up with new and innovative ways every day, so we have to keep innovating too to keep our customers safe.
How are the changing demands of the customer impacting the channel?
I think it’s really important now for the customers and therefore in turn the partners, to have a layered security strategy.
There’s so many different types of threats out there, so one product just isn’t enough, you have to have a strategy that spans across your whole environment. The ability to work with a vendor that has products spanning across the customers whole environment like we have at Sophos, we believe is a great benefit to our partners.
What can the channel expect from Sophos in 2017?
More of the same. We’ll continue to double down on the channel in terms of resources we align to our partners. For example, we’ve recently re-aligned our sales teams to be aligned by partners and not end-user segments.
We’re doing this because the only way we see to really succeed is through supporting our channel partners even more.
When we then layer on top of that our Partner Programs, our MSP Connect program, our extensive sales and technical training and all the other resources we have for our partners to leverage, we think 2017 is going to be a great year for us and our channel.
What are the key challenges for partners to overcome in the year ahead?
How to make security simple I think is going to be a big challenge for everyone. Every customer has their own needs, every customer has a different environment and you have to have a product set that is not only broad enough to ensure you cover all potential attacks, but is also as easy as possible to deploy and manage day-to-day and we have got the portfolio to help a partner do that.
What does a successful Sophos partner look like?
We can partner with anyone. From the smaller SMB partners, particularly in regional areas of A/NZ, who need our help and expertise to better support their customers through easy to deploy products on our Sophos Central platform, right through to larger and more focused partners with dedicated security practices that really go deeper into our technology and have a huge amount of knowledge and skill in their own right around security.
We want partners who want to invest in the relationship with us so that we can in turn invest in them regardless of who they are, how big they are, or where their focus is.
In one word, how do you think channel partners describe your company?