Pieces fall into place for Sophos total security strategy

Pieces fall into place for Sophos total security strategy

A global partner programme revamped, a new product and a new local distie

Security vendor Sophos has reset its partner programme to provide resellers enhanced support, and to encompass former Astaro customers.

Sophos completed the purchase of Astaro last year, giving it a Security Gateway appliance, now branded as Sophos UTM 9 and moving from beta to production model now.

The new partner programme also went live this week as Sophos locally recognised its new partnership with Connector Systems at a launch event on Thursday night.

The programme, the partnership and the UTM 9 rollout all add up to Sophos’ goal to provide SMB customers a one-stop shop for security products.

“When we look at our go to market market model we believe our customers in our space, prefer to deal with one vendor that can provide a complete security suite versus independent point solutions from multiple providers,” says Stuart Fisher, APAC managing director.

“Obviously, the reason for this is that SMBs and SMES are price sensitive. They don’t have the resources to appoint internally managers to deal with multiple vendors. So our complete security from network to the mobile device is complete and we’re getting that traction.”

Fisher says Sophos has seen 17 percent year-on-year growth in his region.

The new partner prgoramme will offer medallion levels for gold, silver and platinum solution providers. Programme support will include online enablement and training, certification and enhanced margins, Fisher says, to support partners that want to sell and manage web, email, endpoint, mobile data protection.

“Rewarding partners that have been able to provide the complete suite is critical,” Fisher says. “I think historcally we didn’t have enough clarity around that. It was ad hoc so this is Sophos stepping up and implementing a best practice in partner programming.”

Former Astaro partners that contnued doing business with Sophos are automatically included in the new programme, now with one set of terms and conditions and margin structure.

Fisher says the appointment of Connector Systems was also integral to both supporting the programme and to building Sophos’ business in New Zealand, part of an APAC-wide effort to install a two-tier channel in every country of the region.

“That’s to give our partners access to a lot more services and resources that a VAD can provide,” says Fisher.

Sophos has around 40 reseller partners in New Zealand, looked after by a staff of two based in Auckland.

Fisher says that growth in “traditional deployment” of full security in the near future will be robust for the next two years, but that will change.

“I do see a lot more SMBs and enterprises looking at their cloud strategy and investing in it,” says Fisher. “We’ve always maintained a development program looking ahead where the customer wants to go to and virtualisation is on everyone’s radar.”

While the company has an on-premise focus, it is branching out to hosted security solutions. Earlier this month, Sophos announced a deal with Australian IaaS provider VMVault to provide security solutions to VMVault’s SMB managed services provider (MSP) partners.

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