Websense Unveils Unified Channel Program

By Sharon Linsenbach  |  Print this article Print


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Increased rebates, an MSP program and an enhanced Web portal are among the changes.


"We’ll find out about the same time as everyone else," Carter said, adding that she expects to find out how to stay qualified for product margins and how to do business as a Websense partner.  She added that her customers are waiting to find out how to handle migration from SurfControl to Websense products.   

"That’s been a huge point of contention within the channel," Carter said, though Websense has assured resellers that support for SurfControl products will be continued through 2011.  Customers, for the most part, are taking it in stride, said Carter.  Though Carter's company has received a small number of panicked phone calls, she said the extended SurfControl support calms them down.   

"By 2011, we tell them, your [SurfControl] subscription is going to be up anyway, so this gives us plenty of time to figure out what we can do to make a change," she said. "We have time and there’s no need to panic."  

Malone said SurfControl partners have a 90-day window during which they are encouraged to come up to speed on the required education and training necessary to enter the Websense channel program.  After that is completed, the partners are granted channel program status equal to the tier they occupied as a SurfControl partner, she said.  

Websense acquired SurfControl in October 2007, and even though the integration process hasn't been seamless, most partners are pleased with the process.  Malone said that Websense offers training and education through its Websense University program, so that VARs can get familiar not only with SurfControl products but with products from BlackSpider, which SurfControl acquired in January 2006, and Port Authority, acquired by Websense in January 2007.   

Websense University gives partners online, instructor-led training, technical and sales Webinars and provides an online "catalog" for VARs looking to cross-sell and up-sell to their existing customers across the Websense portfolio, she said.  

"The merger has been as smooth as you would expect putting together two huge companies who are competitors," said Carter.  Carter said she was especially impressed with the amount of communications partners received about the merger's progress.  

"If they knew something, we knew it, too," Carter said, "They were really focused on making sure customers got the same information both from us and from both Websense and SurfControl," she said.

Sharon Linsenbach Sharon Linsenbach is a staff writer for eWEEK and eWEEK Channel Insider. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Sharon was Assistant Managing Editor for CRN, a weekly magazine for PC and technology resellers. Before joining CRN, Sharon was an Acquisitions Editor for The Coriolis Group and later, Editorial Director with Paraglyph Press, both in Scottsdale, AZ. She holds a BA in English from Drew University and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and two neurotic cats. When she's not reading or writing about technology, Sharon enjoys yoga, knitting, traveling and live music. Sharon can be reached at Sharon.Linsenbach@ziffdavisenterprise.com.

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