Fast-growing anti-malware vendor FireEye says the launch of its new Fuel partner programme is a "statement of intent" of its commitment to the channel.
The US-based start-up claims to be making a huge investment in partners to help it spread its message that traditional techniques such as anti-virus and firewalls are not sufficient to stave off modern malware and advanced persistent threats (APTs).
Besides all the usual perks around deal registration and MDF, the new Fuel programme places an emphasis on training and enablement, explained European director Paul Davis.
FireEye has amassed more than 100 EMEA partners since it touched down in the UK two years ago but Davis said some still lack know-how on its platform.
"I see [Fuel] as a statement of intent. It reinforces how much we value the commitment of our partner base," he said.
"Credibility comes with knowledge and in this game, with these next-generation threats, we have to make a substantial investment in knowledge and support into the partner community. This has to be a living, breathing relationship – it cannot just be, ‘here's the resource: off you go'."
With 2012 bookings doubling to $100m (£65.6m), FireEye ranked as the fourth-fastest-growing tech firm in North America last year, according to Deloitte, and it is recruting aggressively in the UK. In January, it bagged a further $50m in VC funding.
But some UK partners have complained that they have struggled to turn proof-of-concepts into sales and that FireEye's technology is too dear.
Davis denied that the cost of its technology is a stumbling block, highlighting that many smaller deals are in the five rather than seven figures.
"We are not a volume play," he said. "We are looking to stop that which firewalls, IPS, web security gateways, desktop AV or email anti-spam is failing to stop, so onsite deployments tend to be very effective and are involved in the majority of sales.
"Are we expensive relative to a firewall or IPS? We shouldn't be compared to them, as it is not our market and as our business grows I do not see price as an issue.
"I see value as an issue. Organisations are spending $20bn a year on security products, many of which purport to stop inbound threats, and yet we are seeing an increase in the penetration of company networks. The focus should be on value and the technology that deals with this."
Davis declined to give any indication of FireEye's sales or number of customer wins in the UK, but said it was enjoying greatest success in verticals including finance, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and legal.
He conceded that FireEye has greater competition than when it first landed in Europe but characterised this as a "validation of what we do".
"Not so long ago, vendors were saying there isn't a problem [with stopping APTs]," he said. "Now many of those same vendors have a solution similar to FireEye. The marketing departments of many vendors are far outpacing their capabilities."
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