Sophos Lauds Channel StrategyBy Sara Driscoll | Posted 2007-11-05 Email Print
The security vendor says its channel focus has led to increased sales.Just six months after realigning its business to focus exclusively on the channel, Sophos said channel sales are up by 87 percent year over year.
The security vendor altered its business, which was around 40 percent channel focused, to be 100 percent through the channel back in April.
Speaking to Channel Insider, Mike Rogers, vice president of North American Alliance of channel and OEM sales, said the vendor has indulged in "aggressive infrastructure improvement" to get up to speed with the channel. "We've made a massive investment, which is ongoing, in marketing and programs, and we've had a 50 percent increase in channel headcount in Sophos," he said.
Chris Dogget, director of channel sales for North America at Sophos, said the vendor has enhanced its training. "We have revamped and relaunched the training into 35 online courses for partners and organized it into product modules so they can be certified. All the content is also right up to date, so partners know where and how to position us in the marketplace," he said.
Dogget said the vendor's deal registration scheme has also seen a marked rise in adoption. "We have tracked over $25 million worth of business through deal registration that our partners have brought to us and we have helped them engage in; this is a several-fold increase. We have also generated hundreds of thousands of leads for our partners."
The vendor, which has around 1,000 partners in North America, is also undergoing a recruitment drive and said partner numbers are up 15 percent year over year. "The recruiting effort has been in two parts," Dogget said. "First, we are proactively identifying partners that address our All White Space Projectpartners that operate in regions and metropolitan areas we don't yet have coveredand then identifying solution providers in our partner program that are in the Silver level and helping them up the value chain to become Gold or Platinum level partners."
Rogers added that Sophos does not want partners for partners' sake. "This is where more is not necessarily better. If we have too many partners, we will saturate the market. We just want partners that we can invest in and get up to a high level," he said.