Sophos is expanding its reach across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, through a cloud-centric approach spanning the entire security spectrum.
Backed by new local and regional channel chiefs, the security vendor is doubling down on both endpoint and network plays, demonstrating the reseller value in selling across the portfolio.
Triggered by a rise in cloud deployments locally, and global security spend topping US$81.6 billion, organisations are now seeking full solutions in response to cyber attacks becoming more frequent and sophisticated.
“Australia and New Zealand adopt cloud technologies faster than most places in the world,” Sophos Regional Vice President and Managing Director of Asia Pacific and Japan, Joergen Jakobsen, told ARN.
“From our point of view, the Australian market has been one of the fastest to adopt our cloud-based solutions, so locally, our partners have advanced capabilities.
“This means our channel can provide new levels of value to customers through cloud.”
Jakobsen said channel value can be found through utilising the entire Sophos portfolio, spanning both endpoint and network plays, allowing for greater synchronisation through the cloud.
“We’re keen for our partners to participate across the whole product portfolio because one of the differentiated elements we have over our competitors is that we can provide synchronised security solutions in the cloud,” he explained.
“But to achieve this, customers need endpoint, network and firewall solutions so everything can talk together.”
Consequently, Jakobsen said Sophos will continue to help partners chase customer dollars through the differentiated solution sell, in a move designed to bring “incremental value” beyond buying one solution.
“The differentiated portfolio is one of the main reasons why I joined Sophos,” he added. “I’ve been in IT for a long time and security continues to operate in the top segment of the market as one of the fastest growing industries, but it remains fragmented.
“So our task is to grow our active partner base that’s selling the whole portfolio, helping partners to establish the required level of capability to evolve in the year ahead.
“But crucially, it’s also about increasing our coverage because we won’t reach our customers unless we leverage the channel.”
In serving more than 100 million users across 150 countries, Jakobsen said the vendor’s go-to-market strategy is simple, in that it operates 100 per cent through the channel.
“Our value proposition is being profitable, selling differentiated solutions through Sophos and being simple to work with,” he added. “Our partner program reflects this, it’s a global program that is localised and acts as a solid base for our channel.”
Such coverage is especially crucial for resellers operating outside of the major cities in Australia and New Zealand, where customers may not be as readily available.
“Coverage is especially important from a local perspective,” Sophos Channel Director A/NZ, Jon Fox, added.
“Our central platform allows our partners and customers to manage their central environment which lends itself very well to this part of the world. If you’re a regional partner with customers spread across a 200km radius then it’s not feasible to head down the road on every occasion.
“But our tool allows resellers to login and manage deals remotely which is effectively a sales tool to help the channel sell more.”
Having joined the security vendor from Ingram Micro in July 2016, Fox is localising Sophos’ global channel strategy, working with resellers on both sides of the Tasman to utilise all aspects of the vendor’s expanding security portfolio.
“Some partners just sell endpoint, some just sell network and some just sell both,” he added. “We look at our local partner landscape and tailor our solutions to help the channel take a differentiated story to the customer.
“We believe that’s where the value lies, in selling across the portfolio but outside of that, we have some strong partners that do an excellent job of just selling one aspect of our offerings, and that’ll continue also.”
Looking ahead, Sophos will be increasing investment around its cloud security solutions, targeting the lucrative mid-market sectors across Australia and New Zealand.
“Our financial year starts April 1 and we’re optimistic heading into our new year,” Jakobsen added. “A big part of our cloud product portfolio is already receiving strong feedback in the market which is encouraging for the channel.”
From a local perspective, Fox urged partners to tap into security’s position as a leading concern from organisations, emphasising the importance of utilising mainstream media to start end-user conversations.
“Security is in every conversation,” he said. “Anytime you pick up a newspaper or go online, security is there and it’s front of mind.
“For large businesses, the risk of being on the front page of the news is too high to take but then if you drop down to the smaller market, if they get hit then they could be out of business.
“If you look across the technology market, traditional infrastructure is a hard sell because it’s hard to relate to day to day life, whereas security is visible everyday, which represents a huge opportunity for partners.”
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