WatchGuard ramps up channel program

WatchGuard ramps up channel program

Refined Secure Partner program includes restricted access to high-end products, deal registration, try-before-you-buy and intensive sales training and certification

WatchGuard has refined its Secure Partner program as it continues its assault on the mid-market space.

A/NZ regional director, Scott Robertson, said the business had grown by 30 per cent year-on-year, which prompted the program changes.

The vendor has introduced restricted access to higher-end product lines, deal registration, try-before-you-buy and one-day intensive sales training and certification.

“The achievement and qualification levels have increased because we think if partners are taking their time to certify engineers and commit to a one-day intensive training program, then they should be eligible for better returns,” Robertson said.

If a partner wants to reach the Expert level, they need to achieve revenues of $US25,000 per quarter. Professional partners need to reach $US10,000.

“We’re trying to protect our Expert partners and ensure customers get a level of service they expect,” he said.

Any partner that registers a deal is offered an increased margin, which is dependant on the size and value of the deal. They also gain direct access to WatchGuard and are offered support throughout the sales process.

The try-before-you-buy program allows customers to trial WatchGuard products at no charge.

“We’re trying to streamline the process for partners to be able to lock in a deal at the time of interest,” Roberston said. “They can provide a quote, which indicates the price point to the customer, but doesn’t give them a real understanding of how the technology works or why they might want to choose WatchGuard over another vendor.”

In Australia, WatchGuard has 200 partners and 50 of them are either Expert or Professional. In December, Harbour IT achieved Expert level.

“To ensure that our existing channel partners aren’t suddenly impacted by these changes, we will not be conducting any reviews for six months,” Robertson said. “Any current partners have six months to ramp up and maintain their certifications and revenue to continue their level of partner status.”

The one-day intensive training and certification programs will kick off in April.

Robertson said the vendor was continuing its mid-market pursuit and would introduce new product lines specifically catering for that space.

In other news, WatchGuard globally realigned its channel, which saw the departure of channel sales manager, David Brennan.

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