The chief executive of security vendor St Bernard Software has pledged to plough more money into developing its European channel.
Vincent Rossi told CRN that the vendor intends to generate 40 per cent of its overall revenue through Europe this year and claimed partners will play a pivotal role.
“We will be enabling partners across Europe to help them achieve these growth goals,” he said. “Europe is an enormously important market space as it is characterised by more sub-1,000 employee companies than the US and they share the same security issues and concerns as larger firms.”
St Bernard recently launched LivePrism, a hosted email, instant message and web filtering service tailored specifically for the SME market. Rossi claimed the offering will help partners ramp up revenue.
“Our partners can make great margin on LivePrism and we are already seeing a substantial amount of interest from the channel,” Rossi claimed. “Resellers have to accept that they cannot just push individual solutions to their customers. SMEs don’t have the financial resources or breadth of knowledge to get IT security in an ‘a la carte’ fashion. The channel is catching onto that and is learning that the right blend of technology is a better business solution for this market.”
Rossi added that the vendor is looking to recruit more channel partners across the region to push the service to customers.
“We will be running joint marketing campaigns and increasing end-user awareness of the service,” he said.
However, one reseller who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Despite promising a lot, we found none of our meetings with St Bernard ever came to fruition and the channel account managers changed too often, which caused quite a lot of confusion. We took the decision not to work with it any more.”
Alan Reid, managing director of St Bernard distributor Sentryst, said: “LivePrism is a good product for companies with sub-20 or 30 users that don’t have an internal IT function. However, the challenge for the channel is to learn how to sell subscription services rather than a box or software. Once a firm is paying a monthly or yearly fee, if a channel partner manages the relationship correctly they can add lots of other things onto the sale as well to increase margin.”
Reid agreed that St Bernard had some work to do with the channel.
“It has had a change of leadership and ownership so there have been some transition periods that have caused some partners to become disaffected,” he said. “St Bernard needs the channel and as long as it can remain channel focused, we are confident about our future partnership.”
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