InfoSec Institute, a provider of IT security education and workforce security awareness training, has launched a new partner program for MSPs, VARs and OEMs.
The company also recently hired industry veteran Michael Nobers to manage the program as director of global channel sales. He previously was Wombat Security Technologies’ director of partner channel and alliances, and then was Proofpoint’s director of partner channel and alliances after Proofpoint acquired Wombat earlier this year.
The InfoSec program diversifies partners’ security portfolios with its SecurityIQ security awareness and training offering.
Nobers tells Channel Partners that prior to the new program, InfoSec had a reseller agreement and would work with partners, “but it was more of a one-off opportunity.”
“When I came on board a little over a month ago, the first priority was to create a thorough partner program that all partners could adhere to and that has structure in terms of the rules of engagement, deal registrations, all those good things that come with a partner program,” he said. “I was hired to build the partner program and basically bring on partners starting now for 2018.”
The marketplace prompted the need for the partner program, Nobers said.
“Being where we are in the marketplace … in security awareness, for us, it’s a matter of expansion into all the benefits partners give you: more salespeople, more marketing (and) more exposure,” he said. “And I think for us, it’s an international product … so it’s a scaling item mostly in terms of being able to expand our reach around the globe.”
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The program offers all qualified partners: profitable margins and bonus deal-registration discounts; marketing and lead-generation resources; sales support resources to qualify opportunities, provide quoting or contracting assistance and close deals; SecurityIQ technical sales training; and the ability to resell InfoSec Flex Pro IT security training boot camps and certification prep courses.
“My thought process when I was building this program was … I eliminated a lot of barriers, meaning there is deal registration, but every partner comes in at the same level so every partner gets 20 percent discount off of list, and if they register the deal and it’s approved as a registration, they get 10 percent extra,” Nobers said. “So there is no building up to 30 percent. There is no starting off at a 15 percent level and over time you move up.”
And while InfoSec has a direct sales team, those direct sellers will be “working hand in hand with our partners,” he said.
“Our partners’ job is to generate opportunities and our job is to help them close more deals,” Nobers said. “A lot of times with partner programs you’re competing with their direct sales or there’s always some conflict, or there’s the idea that, ‘Well, gee, if I bring this opportunity, how do I know you’re not going to take it direct?’ And that’s happened in this space with certain providers. But there is none of that friction because if the partner registers a deal … then one of our sales reps will actually be supporting that partner in terms of demos, Q&A, follow-ups, anything that that customer is asking for. And they will give a quote to the partner to close that deal with the client.”
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