Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Sophos and HP are teaming up today to offer current HP customers more value from their server dollars by giving away free Sophos antivirus for a year alongside all new Integrity server purchases.

“It represents a big offer from us because we don’t usually give anything away for free,” says Christopher Doggett, director of global channel sales for Sophos, who explains that the giveaway includes a full license with 24 by seven support.

Doggett says that in addition to being a good value for the customer, this new partnership opens up opportunities for HP channel partners who may not have worked with Sophos in the past.

 “It obviously offers an opportunity for the channel partner because they can offer a great value here and also some add-on services,” Doggett says, “Any time that there’s something that the customer decides that they want to deploy, there’s an opportunity for a value added reseller or a service provider to come in and create a services or solutions package around that.”

He believes that this is a good time for the channel to see what Sophos has to offer in the security realm, particularly as it relates to servers. Unlike many security AV vendors, Sophos supports a wide range of platforms such as Linux, Unix and OpenVMS. In fact Sophos’ biggest AV competitor, Symantec, actually buys Sophos product for internal use on some of its Unix servers.

Sophos hopes that the program will provide an opportunity for non-security VARs especially to see the benefit of up-selling server AV into customer environments.

“Non-security VARs are very used to selling antivirus and malware protection for laptops and desktops,” Doggett says. “Many, many of them have never sold it for the core servers that are in the rack in the data center, either because it wasn’t available or they were worried about its manageability.”

Sophos has been making a number of changes to its channel program over the last year that Doggett says will make it easy for HP partners unfamiliar with Sophos to become authorized resellers.

“We make it easy for that partner to sign up with us to engage our sales team in a co-selling effort if the customer has other needs beyond the HP integrity service that they’ve purchased,” he says. “So I think there’s a lot of revenue upside for the partners and really no downside for them.”

He also says that current Sophos partners and the rest of the channel should see this as a signal that Sophos is working to continually evolve its channel program.

“We’re designing other similar types of offerings right now and I think that probably in the short term one of the very exciting things is that we’ve got a major set of releases on a number of our products and some new tools that are coming to market,” Doggett says. “Some of those tools will be available for free for partners to use to augment their tool kit in delivering services like compliance services.”