Tumbleweed Rolls Out Channel Strategy

By Sara Driscoll  |  Print this article Print


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The security vendor's new channel chief vows to be channel-only by the end of 2008.

After just 30 days in the job, David Harris, the new vice president of worldwide channels at Tumbleweed Communications, said the security vendor intends to be a fully indirect company by next year.

Harris, who was formally running the channel at SurfControl, said his biggest challenge will be to convince the channel that Tumbleweed is prioritizing solution providers.

"We are evolving and by the end of 2008 I want us to be 100 percent indirect," Harris told Channel Insider. "We have to prove to the channel that we are building a channel culture and a channel company. Lots of vendors launch a program then go direct again and vice versa, our challenge will be in proving our commitment to the channel."

He said that Tumbleweed's sales staff has been given incentives to work with solution providers through a channel-positive compensation model.

The company is still on its recruitment drive and Harris said the company is three quarters of the way to having the right number of partners on board. "Once we have the right number we have a two stage channel engagement policy," he said. "[First] we check channel readiness; making sure we have invested in the right tools for VARs to interact with us and launching channel-focused products. The second stage is partner readiness; where we help partners get up to speed technically and do specific promotions."

He said the vendor has also launched a Technology Advisory Board, including partners and users to help advise the vendor on its technology strategy and an Advisory Board for its business strategy, which will also include VARs to help guide its channel strategy and help it to gain a more intimate knowledge of the market place.

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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