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SSS hearts Sophos, and the feeling is mutual

SSS hearts Sophos, and the feeling is mutual

Security specialist gives thumbs up to technology, support, as vendor rounds out channel team

Data security solutions provider Sophos has has beefed up and rounded out its channel support team in Sydney to support the efforts of its distributor in New Zealand, Connector Systems.

The company recently announced the appointment of Karen Delaney, who joined from UTM gateway provider, Astaro, when Sophos acquired the company in 2011.

"I came on board as the distributor manager, where Sophos used to go straight to resellers," says Delaney. "I moved Sophos to a two-tier channel, with Connector Systems last June, so it's just about the anniversary."

Delaney moved from the distributor role to the channel manager role for ANZ at the beginning of the year, but the company waited until the team of ten channel sales support staff were in plance, with three (including Delaney) looking after the New Zealand channel.

"We've taken a blend of existing Sophos people with good knowledge of the products, with some experienced people from competitors, so people with good industry knowledge," Delaney says.

With the channel support in place, the vendor is turning to push out the full suite of security and data leakage solutions that were rounded out in the Astaro acquisition. And Delaney says Sophos will roll out two new solutions to give resellers more choice.

"Sophos is a flexible platform," she says. "You can run on prem, virtual and we will shortly launch a MSP option for utility billing across the UTM platform, and toward the end of the year we are looking to launch our cloud offering. We're just looking to bring the offerings to the channel any way they want it."

For security specialist SSS in Wellington, Sophos' support, ease of use and full suite of gateway to endpoint products has convinced them to move from some competing products.

"We have a lot of other vendors with solutions that Sophos doesn't touch," says Ashton Jones, sales manager for SSS. "But they are taking more business, because the technology is good, and because we like doing business with them. They're easy to deal with and that's key."

Sophos had feet on the ground in New Zealand prior to the Astaro acquisition, leaving Connector Systems to hold the fort while Delaney and her team formed ranks. For SSS, which became the company's 2012 APAC reseller partner of the year, whatever Sophos is doing, it works.

"We sell their whole range of solutions, and we used to be an end point solutions seller," says Jones. "Their products have come a long way. So they're an important part of the business."

SSS used competing vendors for web and gateway security products. Not long after the Connector deal was announced, SSS announced its partnership with Sophos selling the entire suite.

SSS works for clients with more than 100 users, with councils, government and terrtiary education in the mix. Growth is pegged in part to the growing demand for securing endpoints.

"There's been discussion about BYOD for quite some time, and people are finally coming to terms with what they need and how they do it," says Jones. "The products are getting to the point where they are doing that and the technology is maturing a little bit."

"We can control what data what goes down to the devices, in addition to controlling the devices themselves. Knowing what data is secure is part of the equation."

The relationship between the reseller and vendor couldn't be healthier.

“On behalf of everyone at Sophos, congratulations to SSS on being our Partner of the Year in ANZ,” said Stuart Fisher, vice president, Sophos, Asia Pacific. “We have many tremendous partners in Australia and New Zealand and this recognition is very well deserved. As a channel-first company, partners are our driving force and we are fortunate to count SSS among the great partners in our partner programme."


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