Security vendor Sophos is looking to work more closely with its newer partner base as it aims to be their first port of call for security.
Sophos' regional vice president for UK and Ireland, James Vyvyan (pictured below), said that the vendor recruits between 200 and 250 partners a year, and it needs to focus more on gaining trust from these partners.
"We want to work as closely with new partners as existing partners," he said. "We want our new partners to be more a part of the family. Our goal is to have them trust us to provide their security solutions."
Sophos floated on the London Stock Exchange in June 2015, and the vendor reported a revenue of $478.2m (£360.6m) for the financial year ending 31 March 2016, a 7.1 per cent increase year on year.
Part of the vendor's plan to work more closely with its partners is making sure that all its staff are educated about the channel and its importance, according to Jonathan Bartholomew, channel director at Sophos.
"Obviously everyone in the channel team knows about it," he explained. "But we need everyone in the organisation to know about the channel, what it is and how it works. To make sure the channel is fully embedded into the company, we ensure any technology we develop is done so with our partners.
"We don't have a couple of techies sitting in an ivory tower developing technology and delivering it to partners. We take a group of partners and get feedback on what we should do, we develop products based on that feedback, test it with those partners and make sure it is ready for what they and their partners need."
The vendor launched its Sophos Central management platform in April, and Vyvyan claimed this has made it easier for partners to use its products. The platform is a single dashboard which allows partners and customers to see all their security solutions in one place.
"We are designing our products to have features in them that make it easier for the partners to remotely manage end users. Sophos Central is a good example of that, because it is multi-tenanted so partners can see all their customers on the one dashboard," said Vyvyan.
Bartholomew added: "We have already seen a 30 per cent increase in the number of partners we are recruiting in the solutions space, because of what we are doing with Sophos Central."
VAR Bytes has been a partner with Sophos for 10 years. Its vendor alliances director Adam Thornton said that the partnership has gone "from strength to strength."
"When you are starting out with Sophos and trying to understand the route to market, they have a huge amount of resources to help you," he said.
"The only thing I would like to see from Sophos is they have gone down a route with synchronised security, looking at how they can help customers decipher their future in security. I want to see them really execute on that strategy because it is a great message; it is a case of really taking that out to market."
Today saw 14 of the UK IT channel's biggest hitters come together to determine the winners of CRN's WiC awards. But what does being a WiC judge actually involve? Doug Woodburn reports
'Smaller firms may struggle to keep up with Microsoft's innovation with Dynamics' says CEO Stuart Fenton after acquiring assets from Profile Enterprise Solutions
Pete Peterson admits the firm hasn't always been the 'easiest company to do business with'
New chief exec Aaron Painter says 'longer-term strategy' could see firm tackle the Asian market