ForeScout is hoping to woo VARs to its channel program with the launch of a buyback scheme aimed at its major competitors in the network access control space.

The vendor began the scheme several weeks ago, hoping to capitalize on the downfall of rival Lockdown Network.  “We wanted to ensure that Lockdown’s customers and their VARs had somewhere else to go,” said Ray Wizbowski, vice president of marketing at ForeScout.

However, the company has now opened the scheme out to encompass any of its rival’s kits, including Cisco, Juniper, ConSentry and Mirage.   The buyback scheme offers VARs who purchase ForeScout’s NAC kit to replace a rival’s kit a credit or discount off the price that they can then pass on to their customers.

“They are sizeable credits of up to a $25,000 discount off the list price,” said Wizbowski.  He added that if a customer has chosen a kit from a rival it is already a lost potential customer for ForeScout. “By offering a discount it means we can encourage customers to change to us and we gain more market share.  It also means VARs are more inclined to put our technology first, and therefore we win mind share among the channel, too.”

Wizbowski said VARs who participate in the buyback scheme will be fast-tracked into the vendor’s channel program.  “If they are already selling one of our rival’s products they must have knowledge of NAC already, so it won’t be difficult to include them into our channel program,” he said.

The vendor is also hoping the buyback scheme will attract different kinds of VARs.  Wizbowski said although ForeScout has primarily dealt with SMB (small and midsize business) VARs, he is looking to attract enterprise-class solution providers to help the vendor move further into the large enterprise space.  He said the higher-end VARs are being attracted to the NAC space due to the amount of legislation that end users face around compliance. In particular the PCI (Payment Card Industry) legislation, which requires companies to be rubber-stamped if they do any transactions online, has driven demand in the NAC space.

It is for this reason, Wizbowski said, that the vendor has added a PCI module into its latest product, CounterAct 6.3, to be launched in May. The release includes policies and reporting tools that help end users understand where the company stands in regards to the PCI legislation and what action they need to take to become fully compliant.