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GFI Looks to Channel to Sell SMB Products

GFI Software, the SMB-focused provider of network security, content security and messaging software, is looking to broaden its channel of Microsoft-focused value-added resellers and partners.

The company, which has U.S. headquarters in Cary, N.C., is launching a revamped Global Partner Program this year.

GFI's channel push stems from October, when Insight Venture Partners, a New York City-based venture capital firm, stepped in, says Kurt Shaver, vice president and general manager of operations for the Americas. Since then, GFI has added channel-savvy executives and fine-tuned its channel plan.
With so many of GFI's products dependent on the Microsoft platform, the partner community is a logical place for GFI -- itself a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner -- to turn.

"Probably eight of our nine products are really Microsoft OS-specific," Shaver says of GFI's lineup, which includes MailEssentials, FAXmaker, MailArchiver, MailSecurity, WebMonitor, LANguard Network Security Scanner, LANguard Security Event Log Monitor, EndPoint Security and Network Security Monitor. "It's got to be north of 90 percent [that are Microsoft-centric]," Shaver says of GFI's base of 150,000 customers.

Upgrading the channel program included breaking out separate incentives for direct-market resellers and VARs. The new program launch focuses primarily on VARs, which now have three levels: gold, silver and bronze.

GFI is aiming to start with about 100 gold-level partners, who will get quarterly visits from outside channel account managers and have access to marketing funds and solution sales training. Silver-level partners will also get individual attention, although from inside channel account managers. Bronze-level partners will be handled by a distribution partner.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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