Anti-virus vendor Sophos has ditched its revenue-based partner programme in a move designed to level the playing field for partner accreditation.
VARs will now earn Platinum, Gold and Silver status based on their investment in areas such as training, marketing and support services – as well as sales volumes – through a new points-based system.
The previous four-tier programme was based primarily on volume thresholds, with top-level certified partners required to spend over £250,000.
Hilary Williams, channel marketing manager at Sophos, said: “The new programme is about recognising that there are different types of resellers out there. We wanted to allow them to choose how they do business with us.
“If resellers do high volumes, we’ll support them. If they’re technical and offer value, then we’ll give them the same levels of support.”
Steve Cox, operations director at Sophos Gold partner Utilize, said: “One of our biggest frustrations was everything came down to revenues, not value-add. It’s good to see that Sophos is emphasising a mixture of the two.”
Sophos’s 2,500 UK resellers will automatically be transferred to either the Platinum, Gold or Silver level depending on their previous level of accreditation.
The vendor said it is also hoping that the flexibility of the programme can tempt more anti-virus resellers to change vendor allegiance.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “It’s now a three-horse race between us, McAfee and Symantec, so we’re hoping resellers that may be disgruntled with the other two vendors will consider working with us.”
Cluley argued Sophos trumps its rivals by offering VARs round-the-clock web, telephony and email technical support. Although Sophos uses broadliner Ingram Micro for its small business products, it offers VARs the choice of buying direct, he added.
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