In the latest of our ‘Meet the Shortlisters’ series, Paul Donovan, vice president of EMEA sales at security vendor Pulse Secure (pictured), explains why the VPN is not dead, how the pandemic has changed working practices for good, and why being shortlisted for a Channel Award is all down to its partners
Give us a flavour of your channel strategy - how long have you worked with the channel, how is your programme structured, how many partners do you work with etc
Since day one, Pulse Secure has been 100 per cent channel focused. Our partner program has three tiers ; Authorised, Preferred and Elite partners. In order to achieve Preferred or Elite level, we ask partners to specialise in more than one product from our Secure Access Portfolio.
Partners receive a series of benefits depending on their Tier level. More specialisations mean more benefits. Pulse Secure has the privilege to work together with very dedicated partners in every European country. As Remote Access is the new standard, we've seen the number of partners increase by 120 per cent in 2020.
How have you supported your partners during the pandemic? Has it made you change your strategy in any way? If so, how?
Pulse Secure has initiated different programs and campaigns helping channel partners to guarantee business continuity during the pandemic. We also added additional resources to deal with the increased flow of companies requesting support for remote access solutions.
This allowed our channel partners to speed-up the quoting and installation process.
We also launched the ‘Pulse Care' Remote Access program, enabling rapid deployment at reduced cost for customers. This program also including extended no-cost trial periods of our solutions.
What has been your company's biggest challenge during 2020 and how did you overcome it? What role did your own teams play in that?
Many companies approached Pulse Secure and our channel partners to help them guarantee business continuity. These companies needed immediate deployment of remote access solutions. Thanks to great support from our Channel Partners we were able to deploy solutions the same day.
What lessons have you learned from this year?
VPN is not dead! It's called Secure Remote Access and is the industry leading solution to guarantee business continuity during difficult times like the Covid-19 pandemic. It is the new standard.
What has been the highlight of 2020 for your business?
Honestly, it is the great feedback from our channel partners and customers who all appreciated the actions we've taken once the pandemic hit Europe. Nothing is more rewarding than that.
What does it mean to you to be recognised for the shortlist/an award?
Being shortlisted for the CRN Channel Awards is like receiving an Oscar nomination. The Pulse team and all of our partners are very pleased and we all hope we win the award. If we win, Pulse Secure would like to dedicate this award to the great work done by all of our channel partners in 2020
How do you think the industry will change as a result of Covid-19 and how do you plan to thrive/grow?
The new normal will become a hybrid model with home and office workers. That's why we launched Pulse Zero Trust Secure Access allowing companies to offer secure access to employees anywhere, anytime, anyhow.