Network Associates International (NAI) has been in high gear over the last couple of months with the establishment of a new reseller program, the rapid expansion of its staff on Australian shores and 128 per cent growth rates over the last two quarters.
Establishing himself in Australia after a successful jaunt in Europe in which he reinvented NAI's channel strategy, new vice president Dean Mansfield is attempting to play catch-up with the US and Europe.
He has developed a program that he claims has "dragged NA in Australia into 1999. NAI went through eight acquisitions in the US and Europe last year.
"The Asia-Pacific region got left behind a little because there is only so much that can be done. But in the last quarter we have seriously remodelled Australia and Japan's volume licensing purchasing program [VLPP]."
To this end NAI has established two distinct divisions of VLPP; total solution providers (TSPs) and VIPs.
"TSPs are mostly distributors," explains Mansfield.
"They report to us on how many licences they have sold and we then ship out the media kits and licences to them pretty much the next day. VIPs depend on NAI's sales representatives to generate leads for them. We bring in the end user and then pass the deal on to the reseller to fulfil."
Breaking the program down even further are the Silver, Gold and Platinum levels of partnership. "Silver is pretty much anyone who has ever sold an NAI product. Gold requires a certain responsibility to training and a level of skill. Platinum actually requires a business contract to be signed where we guarantee our resellers a certain number of sales and they do the same for us," Mansfield said.
Gaining admission to the VLPP is relatively straightforward, according to Mansfield. "Antivirus is pretty simple so most people can sell it. But it gets more tricky when you have to load a firewall. For this you need strong resellers who are committed to the security market."
In return NAI actively seeks to generate business for its resellers through its own sales division. Mansfield also claims that its products are generally easy to sell and offer constant upgrade opportunities and "suites that can always be expanded and managed".
Mansfield added that the revamped channel has been a catalyst for the rapid expansion of NAI in this region. "In the last couple of months we have grown from about 30 to over 60 people. This is because there is a lot of opportunity in Australia, we have best-of-breed products, we offer a value proposition, offer one vendor total security solutions and the corporate market is ready for this. By leveraging our channel we can take advantage of all this."
Mansfield is adamant that NAI is a channel-driven company.
"We sell direct but fulfil indirect. We drag all our business back through our partners, even big fat juicy clients will go through the channel. We dealt with two and a half thousand resellers last quarter and will continue to operate within this system."