CHECK Point Software Technologies is wrapping up plans to simplify its partner classification in New Zealand as it moves to improve support for local partners.
At the beginning of this year, the internet security vendor embarked on a process to formalise the skills of its partners into two tiers – premier and authorised to focus support on partners that have invested more in the brand.
One of the major changes it introduced was combining its Certified Support Partner (CSP) and Premier partner classifications into one, making CSP certification mandatory for all Premier partners.
A CSP is expected to be able to provide high-level technical support and to have invested heavily in certified engineers, of which three are needed to attain Premier status.
Australia and New Zealand partner manager Scott McKinnel says most of its local Premier partners already held CSP status, which the rest were quick to attain.
He adds that as these changes are now falling into place, the company can begin to launch tactical activities to generate business for its Premier partners such as Expert Solutions Providers (ESP), Gen-i, Datacom, Telecom Advanced Solutions, SolNet and DMZ Global, Sytec’s managed security services group.
The first activity to be launched is a telemarketing campaign with ESP to generate business for a package that bundles Check Point firewall and VPN software on a Nortel Alteon platform and ESP’s service and support.
McKinnel says this is the first time the company has marketed a solution that bundles software, hardware and services in this way.
ESP managing director John King believes it will be a fruitful exercise for the company and hopes to gain between 10 and 20 new customers from a list of around 1 000 businesses in the 50 to 100 user segment.
Meanwhile, McKinnel says another two or three of its authorised partners may attain Premier status in New Zealand this year, but adds the company is very targeted in its approach to adding more partners.
“It is quite a scientific method to ensure revenue for those partners that make an investment in the brand,” he says.
The company now has two representatives based in Auckland following the appointment of Dale Barnes as business development manager in January and Mike Simpson as channel territory manager in March.