Security vendor ArcSight is upping the benefits to partners in an effort to expand its channel program, and part of the plan is a channel-neutral compensation program.

That’s probably one of the most significant benefits, according to one of the Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s existing partners, who said that the change means that the company will be compensating its own sales people on 100 percent of the sale price instead of the 70 percent after the partner receives his commission.

“That makes it easier for us to work with their sales people without any problems with commissions being held back from their sales people,” said Gordon Shevlen, an executive vice president at Fishnet Security, a large Kansas City-based national security integrator.

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The new compensation structure is likely to help the enterprise security and compliance solution vendor to achieve another one of its goals—more field meetings between its internal sales reps and channel partners to do pipeline reviews, comparing notes on various accounts and opportunities.

“Our direct sales reps will get paid the same amount on the deal whether ArcSight does the deal directly or the deal is done through the channel,” said Tom Reilly, ArcSight COO.

“That encourages our reps to say ‘I’ll get as many channel partners selling for me as possible’ so they build up their group of partners and become more like territory reps than direct sales reps.”

The new formalized channel program also offers partners several other new benefits, including ad hoc market development funds, deal registration, a partner portal, simplified business agreements. Reilly said that the process for quoting, pricing and order entry has also been simplified.

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The changes follow the hiring last December of a channel chief for ArcSight, Chris Peterson. With a formal title of vice president for worldwide channels, Peterson will oversee the company’s channel and alliance development in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

He brings 25 years of channel experience to his new role, most recently leading the creation and execution of Secure Computing’s channel strategy. He also served in executive roles at the channel organizations at Network Associates, Radius, Sun Microsystems, and Compaq Computer.

ArcSight has also recently hired a worldwide sales channel organization to recruit and support channel partners, Reilly said.

“We have been a channel-friendly business, and now we are announcing a more formal program with the goal of ArcSight being the easiest company for the channel to do business with,” Reilly said.