Sophos Lauds Channel Strategy

By Sara Driscoll  |  Print this article Print


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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.

"Being 100 percent channel is the only way to take ambiguity out of any channel investment, and we've worked at transforming into a channel culture."

He added that Sophos has tweaked its three-tiered channel program over the past several months and included additional elements.

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."

Pointer Click here to read more about Sophos' indirect strategy shift.

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 Project—partners that operate in regions and metropolitan areas we don't yet have covered—and 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.

Sara Driscoll began her journalism career at 16 years old on her local newspaper, The Watford Observer. Working part time, she covered a range of beats. Leaving to complete her Journalism Degree at Bournemouth University, UK, Sara then went on to graduate and work for Emap. She began as a reporter on APR, Emap's construction title, being promoted to senior reporter with a year.Sara then joined VNU Business Publications as Deputy News Editor on CRN, the weekly trade title for channel players. She covered industry/business news from vendors, distributors and resellers, product announcements, partner announcements as well as market and trend analysis, research and in depth articles to predict up and coming trends in the sector. She was promoted within a year to News Editor, a year later to Deputy Editor and the following year became Editor. Sara remained editor of CRN for three years, launching the magazine on new platforms including CRN TV and eBooks, as well as several magazine and web site redesigns. She was called on for expert industry comment from various publications including appearing on live BBC news programs. Sara joined Ziff Davis Enterprise as Editor of eWeek Channel Insider. She runs the title in all formats – online up to the minute news, newsletters, emails alerts and events. She also manages the brand of Channel Insider in all formats - events, shows, awards, panel debates and roundtables.Sara can be reached at:sara.driscoll@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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