Sophos moves to protect partners from margin erosion

Sophos moves to protect partners from margin erosion

IT security vendor Sophos says the global launch of its new partner programme offers a two-tier margin structure; enhanced vendor support, as well as new deal registration and margin protection initiatives. The programme, says Sophos, has been designed specifically to deliver business growth for dedicated partners, strengthening their market position.

The company worked with partners from around the globe and internal channel specialists when developing the programme, to ensure it delivered the right incentives, protection, training and support.

“Resellers are currently operating in a tough market,” says Zoe Nicholson, Sophos channel sales manager for Australia and New Zealand, “and Sophos has chosen to invest in its channel partners with this new partner programme to ensure they are able to continue to achieve great results.”

The programme reaffirms the company's commitment to the channel and its investment and commitment to its partners, by providing them with continued support, says Nicholson. “We highly value the market expertise and drive that our partners bring and the programme has been designed to further motivate and enable the channel to grow revenue."

Nicholson says the new partner portal provides resellers with more ‘how to sell’ advice. "They’ve got access to all the products with the online ordering system, they can see all their customers and when they’re due for renewal, and quote on them or upgrade them at any time.”

Sophos has always rewarded partners based on the value they bring to the business, not just on licence volume, she says. “The new programme will streamline the online selling process and introduce a formal recognition process for partners, who achieve high levels of customer satisfaction and develop specialisations in specific areas.”

All partners will also benefit from margin protection through online and automated registration of net new sales opportunities, guaranteeing immediate entitlement to the maximum margin level, as well as offering compensation if a deal is procured by another Sophos partner.

Sophos will continue to have silver, gold and platinum-level partners, but its enhanced margin protection awards top margins to partners that have registered deals with the vendor and that it has accepted. “We’re hoping that will take away some of the margin erosion and channel conflict,” says Nicholson. “People have said to us for years that they wanted us to better protect them when it came to deals they’d been working on for a long time. If a second reseller wins a deal, we will still give 7 percent of the margin back to the original founder of the deal as a sort of ‘finder’s fee’. That’s quite a high profit margin on a deal you don’t actually close.”

Nicholson says this extra protection for resellers puts Sophos and its partners in a position to go out and win larger government and corporate deals.

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