Sophos: 100 Percent Channel Play Paying Off

A security vendor's high-profile commitment to the channel sales model this year appears to be paying off.

The North American subsidiary of Sophos, an underdog to security giants like Symantec and McAfee, in April switched from a 50 percent channel model to a 100 percent channel model in North America. The rest of the 22-year-old, U.K.-based firm retains a mixed model of direct and channel sales.

While it's been less than a year since the switch, the Boston-based subsidiary is touting strong results. The company says it's garnered $11.3 million in partner-generated leads and that its top 30 partners are seeing an average growth rate of 600 percent year over year.

Even before going to a completely channel-sales model, the company's increasing bets on channel partners, such as GalaxyTech and M&S Technologies in Dallas and Integralis-U.S. in East Hartford, Conn., had been paying off. The company reported an 87 percent increase in channel revenues for the fiscal year that ended in March 2007 over the prior year.

The Sophos Partner Program includes Platinum, Gold and Silver levels. The company emphasizes what it calls a "bi-directional value model" to encourage collaboration between partners and Sophos.

Tiered benefits include lead distribution, deal registration, pre-sales support, post-sales support, marketing and training. Partners at all levels can sell Sophos' entire line of products.

About the Author

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