Security vendor WatchGuard is taking a tougher approach to its channel as it makes some programme changes and appoints another UK distributor.
The vendor, which specialises in internet security and Unified Threat Management, is also launching a third partner level.
Nick Banks, UK and EMEA sales director at WatchGuard, said: “We are launching an Authorised level. We will work hard to bring Authorised partners up to Expert or Professional levels as quickly as possible.”
WatchGuard has appointed a new member of staff to work solely with Authorised level partners, and it is changing the way in which VARs are paid rebates.
“In the past we had to wait for the distributor to release a VAR’s financial details before they were paid,” Banks said. “Now VARs are paid rebates upfront at the purchase.”
However, he warned that the vendor will be undertaking regular reviews of partners’ business. Any partner consistently not performing will be relegated a level, or asked to leave the partner programme.
Banks added that the vendor has recently parted company with distributor Vigil Software, leaving it with three existing distributors in the UK: Ingram Micro, Northamber and Wick Hill. But he said it is looking to appoint a fourth distribution partner.
“We have always worked with four distributors in the UK, and it works well,” he said. “We are looking for a VAD [value-added distributor], preferably one that is skilled in the security and networking space.”
Ian Kilpatrick, chairman of Wick Hill Group, said: “We are aware of WatchGuard’s intentions in the distribution space. Having another VAD developing the market isn’t something we would have a problem with.”
Kilpatrick added that the changes to its rebate structure can only benefit the vendor.
“WatchGuard has significant market share in the SME firewall market,” he said. “Because of the way it manages its channel, it is able to build discounts back into the pricing structure, which makes it more competitive. It allows partners to target end-users moving over from Juniper or Cisco products.”
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