11 channel partner bosses reveal which vendors they are skilling up on in 2022

UK reseller and MSP head honchos including CAE’s Justin Harling, Phoenix Software’s Sam Mudd and Ampito’s Angela Whitty reveal where they are focusing their 2022 accreditation and training efforts, as well as their accreditation pet peeves

Doug Woodburn
clock • 22 min read
11 channel partner bosses reveal which vendors they are skilling up on in 2022

The vendor space has got off to an action-packed start to 2022, with Cisco this month reportedly bidding more than $20bn for Splunk, Microsoft gearing up for an Office 365 pricing and billing shake up and McAfee Enterprise and FireEye merging to form ‘Trellix'. AWS' annual growth rate has accelerated to 40 per cent, meanwhile.

Channel partners will have been following such developments closely as they mull which vendors to skill up on, and which to shelve or marginalise, in 2022.

Although enablement lies at the centre of the vendor-partner relationship, the 45 vendors featured in the recent CRN Vendor Report* received mixed reviews in the Accreditation & Training category, garnering a 6.5 average score.

Following on from the report, we asked 11 tech solution provider bosses (ordered below by headcount, from smallest to largest) about which vendors they are focusing their staff training and accreditation efforts on and how vendors can make the process more seamless.

*Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, HPE, HP Inc, AWS, Lenovo, VMware, Apple, Adobe, Veeam, Citrix, IBM, Fortinet, Check Point, Sophos, Google, Mimecast, Barracuda Networks, Palo Alto Networks, Connectwise, Datto, Zoom, NetApp, Juniper, Oracle, Netgear, Poly, Fujitsu, Nutanix, Salesforce, SAP, SonicWall, Samsung, ESET, Avaya, Broadcom/Symantec, Crowdstrike, F5 Networks, WatchGuard, McAfee Enterprise, N-Able, Mitel, Intel, Extreme Networks

Keep [accreditation] short and sweet, you want us selling, not bogged down with training courses

Donna Taylor

Role: Managing director, IT Bus

Which vendor are you focusing your technical and sales staff accreditation efforts on in 2022, and why?

As a business we are strategic in who our core vendors are and while we have no plans to change our current strategy this year, we will be heavily focused to grow our partnership with Forcepoint. I have always liked the technology, as have our customers, but feel they have really focused and invested in their partner programme recently and am excited to strengthen our relationship. 

Forcepoint is a high-scale, high-growth company with a comprehensive network security portfolio.

We researched the market and felt that through their recent acquisitions Forcepoint's new Forcepoint One Platform was not only simple to deploy but will be easy for our customers to work with. This further enhances their portfolio and I feel they will be a major force in the SSE market in 2022 and beyond. I believe their products drive demand for professional services in multiple categories. It's worth noting that Forcepoint is exiting the services business and shifting focus to partner-led professional services, which will support our services team expansion.

They truly see the value in the channel.

Read a summary of the CRN Vendor Report findings here

What are your ambitions for the partnership?

Through both our current customer base and opening net new business we aim to achieve Titanium status, which is Forcepoint's new highest accreditation status, which is a tall order but one that will give us scale and growth supported directly by the channel team.

Are there any new/emerging vendors where you are ramping up accreditation efforts? If so, why?

Yes, Cyber Risk Aware. User awareness training should now be one of the priorities in any IT security strategy and CRA are ahead of the game with their technology and approach. Their roadmap is exciting, and I think they can have a big impact in the market and very much help to support and benefit our customers.

What's your biggest bugbear when it comes to vendor accreditation and training?

Vendors that focus solely on revenue targets. We firmly believe the value a reseller can offer overall is what is important, and some vendors always seem to miss this. Forcepoint have redesigned their programme to enable partner services and practice services buildout. Providing customer success and partner value.

If you could give your vendors one piece of advice on how to improve their accreditation/training process, what would it be?

Keep them short and sweet, you want us selling, not bogged down with training courses. Come in and work with us on the courses, align it with our business and team together to take the message to our customers. Shadowing the technical staff is great and offers great knowledge exchange. It's all about partnerships!

Which CEO is ramping his company's JumpCloud and Netscope accreditation efforts? Find out on the next page…

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