Managed email security specialist MessageLabs is merging its global channel programmes and looking to push 80 per cent of its business through partners over the coming year.
James Scollay, director of partner sales EMEA at MessageLabs, said the channel is "fundamental" to the firm's growth.
Partners will be divided into three levels: Associate, Certified and Alliance. Scollay said MessageLabs is looking to increase its number of Associate-level partners.
He added that the vendor is offering VARs a revamped partner portal and is allowing partners to rebrand its services and to offer "more wrap-around value to customers".
MessageLabs will also run more 'off-the-shelf' marketing campaigns, according to Scollay, and will provide partners with marketing development funds.
"We are entering a phase of high market adoption. Europe is a key sector because less than 10 per cent of the market has adopted internet-level security and we are expecting the majority of the market to adopt in the coming years," he said.
"To capitalise on that we need to maintain our leadership position and the channel is key to that."
Stuart Pearce, sales director at managed services provider Grove IS, agreed that the market is at the beginning of a growth cycle.
"With this new partner programme MessageLabs is trying to position its channel in preparation for what is a massive growth market," he said.
"In terms of take-up, the technology hasn't really penetrated the market yet, but we see it taking off strongly in the future. There is a lot of interest from our customers and a lot of new prospects coming to us and asking us what the best technology is to use from an Simple Mail Transfer Protocol security point of view.
"Traditional security services are becoming ineffectual, so end-users are looking for the next level of security. That is something that MessageLabs offers."
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