EMC's security division RSA has overhauled its channel programme in an effort to make life easier for its partners.
The vendor has vowed to simplify the way it works with its 500-strong army of UK partners who are signed up to the SecurWorld partner programme across four status levels: Premier, Affiliate Elite, Affiliate and Authorised.
"We have revised the programme based on partner feedback," said Steve Wheeler, RSA's EMEA channel sales director. "We get [partners] together once a year plus our day-to-day contact with them, and we've listened and reduced the complexity around it. The channel is vitally important to us and is seen as our primary go-to-market."
The revamped SecurWorld programme allows partners to specialise in up to four different technical areas: authentication; secure analytics; governance, risk and compliance; and identity protection and verification (IPV) – a technology RSA is handing over to the channel for the first time.
"IPV has been for very, very large enterprises and primarily financial institutions," Wheeler explained. "As such, there were various SLAs which had to be met with the end users... which channel partners may have been uncomfortable with. With the changes to licences we've done, we've brought it to the channel without those liabilities."
Wheeler added that in the past, partners had to renew their partner status every six months, but that has been extended to one year so that partners have more control over how and when they get certified.
Additional sales and technical resources have also been added to the new-look programme, including EduTube - an online video portal aimed at allowing partners to get up-to-date training in the face of the fast-changing security landscape.
Eighty per cent of RSA's UK sales come from the channel, and Wheeler said he has upped the number of direct staff in Bracknell and Cork who are tasked with finding leads to pass to the channel.
Integralis is one of only a handful of top-level Premier RSA partners, and its information security consulting practice director Mick Ebsworth said the vendor's changes were good news for his firm.
"The barriers weren't a huge problem for us as we're such a big partner of RSA. But what [the overhaul] has done is given us the chance to reach further into their technical resource and research teams," he said.
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