Proofpoint shakes up regional distribution play after major channel review
- 15 September, 2021 12:00
Johann Ramchandra (Proofpoint)
US-based cyber security and compliance solutions vendor Proofpoint is shaking up its regional distribution arrangements after completing an official review of its partner ecosystem across Asia Pacific.
As a result of the review, which included a formal request for proposal (RFP) process across the region, the company has named Ingram Micro as an authorised distributor in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.
It has also retained M.Tech as a distributor, albeit with an expanded remit covering Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia, while ITSDI has been named as its distributor in the Philippines.
“Proofpoint is committed to its 100 per cent channel go-to market strategy and we’re excited to build out a two-tiered distribution model to fuel our growth across the Asia Pacific theatre, expanding to new markets against growing demand for our market-leading solutions,” said Johann Ramchandra, Proofpoint Asia Pacific and Japan channel sales senior director.
Ramchandra told Channel Asia that as part of the review process, the company’s legacy distributors will largely cease to trade in Proofpoint’s wares.
According to Francis Choo, Ingram Micro Asia Pacific global partner engagement and cyber security lead, the addition of Proofpoint to the company’s portfolio of cyber security solutions and services add to the value the distributor can bring to its channel partners and their customers in the region.
“We are excited to work with Proofpoint and support them in their expansion to new markets and growth strategy across APAC,” he said.
Meanwhile, M.Tech CEO Stanley Foo said: “We are tremendously thrilled to be once again appointed as their [Proofpoint’s] strategic and valued distributor, bringing their trusted and solid solutions to reach an even wider audience in the APAC region.”
From the perspective of ITSDI president Luichi Robles, the company has partnered with Proofpoint to protect more companies in its market from threats in the ever-changing cyber security landscape.
“With the increasing demands of cyber security and rapid transition to cloud data management, ITSDI continues to expand its portfolio to fully serve its clients,” he said.
According to Proofpoint Asia Pacific and Japan senior vice president Alex Lei, the new distribution arrangements are part of a broader consolidation and optimisation of the company's channel go-to-market strategy.
Not only has the channel ecosystem review resulted in a shake-up among the vendor’s distribution partnerships across the region, but it has also seen the company work to be a bit more focused on its high-value partners.
While Lei has stressed that this doesn’t mean the company is actively dropping existing partners, it does mean that the vendor plans to invest in partners that have, or want to, go deep with Proofpoint’s product offerings.
“We’re not changing the raw number of partners, we’re not decreasing the number of partners,” Lei told Channel Asia, “but because the pie is getting bigger around the world, and in Asia, we’re growing at pace, there’s more of that revenue that can go into strongly specialised partners.”
According to Ramchandra, there was a certain mix that the vendor was looking for in its partner ranks.
“It’s a two-way street,” he said. “Narrowing down that mix and getting it right means we’ll reap success sooner. It may involve certain partners that aren’t aligned with our vision not doing as much with us as before.”
Ramchandra noted that clients aren’t always looking for transactional partners in the current climate. Instead, they’re looking for partners with whom they can build more trust with integrated solutions. This means they often prefer to partner with managed service providers (MSPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs) with which they can maintain an ongoing relationship.
The changes to Proofpoint’s partner ecosystem and distribution arrangements come as the market experiences considerable demand for the type of solutions the vendor provides.
“The shift to remote working has accelerated digital transformation and the move to the cloud, expanding the attack surface for enterprises,” Lei said. “Today, cyber criminals increasingly target people within organisations rather than systems or infrastructure.
“This requires a mind shift from IT security teams to take a people-centric approach to cybersecurity to combat threats effectively.
“Proofpoint integrates a people-centric view into its security platform to easily identify vulnerable users. This tailored approach allows us to deliver first-class protection to address the needs of enterprises that are facing a fast-evolving threat landscape,” he added.
The channel changes come several months after Ramchandra was promoted from being Proofpoint's channel director for Australia and New Zealand to his current role overseeing the company's channel business across APJ.
In September last year, Lei was appointed as the company's regional leader for APJ, the industry veteran coming across from Dell Technologies.