EMC security division RSA has launched an Elite Forces rewards programme to recognise and upskill technical and pre-sales partner staff.
The programme has four tiers – Rookie, Negotiator, Lead Unit, and Sharp Shooter, and reward points are accrued to voucher cards which can be redeemed for use at retail outlets.
ANZ channel account manager Phil Teague says rewarding technical and pre-sales staff is often something vendors miss.
“[Elite Forces is] about encouraging them to work closer with us and develop their skills but also providing recognition. In the world of selling solutions the presales guys can be unsung heroes.
“I’m very conscious that in a number of aspects our programme [needs] to reward those guys.”
Partners who undertake training enter the programme at Rookie level, then undergo training in deals and customer briefings such as demos and proofs of concept to progress through the levels.
Only a handful of partners will reach Sharp Shooter level, says Teague, because it is includes the “best of the best” and is by invitation only.
Teague says the Elite Forces scheme will also encourage other partners to work towards RSA technical certification. “I think this is a unique offering in the market. A big focus of this year is to continue to grow our knowledge pool among partners.”
The vendor also has the SecurWorld partner programme, but doesn’t offer similar points-based rewards for partner sales staff, says Teague.
The company has to date trained 177 technical people across ANZ, with 103 certified. 44 of those are in New Zealand and Teague estimates between 80 and 90 percent of these will be certified by the end of the first quarter in 2010.
He names Datacraft, Datacom, Gen-I and Total Team as those it is working closely with here.