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Corsa Technology, the SDN switching and network security enforcement company, is debuting its new partner program for resellers and SIs globally.
Coupled with Corsa’s SDN networking and security equipment, the Corsa Partner Program “accelerates the ability of channel partners to create economic savings, and technological and operational innovation in their customers’ networks,” the company said.
The program tiers include gold and silver, depending on the partner’s annual sales commitment and ability to staff trained sales engineers. Program benefits include: frequent and regular sales training; preferred pricing, deal registration and lead sharing: an assigned, on-call sales engineer; a dedicated partner portal and access to a demo environment; and access to co-marketing and lead-generation programs.
By using the Corsa DP2000 and Red Armor NSE7000 series of equipment, partners can integrate programmable traffic management and line-rate per-flow forwarding at internet scale in customer networks, according to the company.
In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Carolyn Raab, Corsa’s vice president of product management, talks about new opportunities created by the program and her company’s mission for global expansion.
Channel Partners: This is Corsa’s first partner program, right?
Carolyn Raab: It is. We’ve been signing partners for key geographies and key markets, and this is now going global with our partner program.
This announcement of the partner program is formalizing what we’ve sort of started with. We have two resellers already engaged and active: Matrix Integration in North America, and Xantaro in Germany and the United Kingdom. So for us it’s now expanding that to be more of a global footprint to bring that system, that expertise, further into other markets, and we serve entities that are specifically very knowledgeable about open programmable networking.
And in parallel with the partner program, it’s global alliances, so technology partners who have products that run alongside ours. We’ve started with Ciena and their Blue Planet Ecosystem, which is basically an orchestration package that is vendor-agnostic, that allows network operators to basically through Blue Planet manipulate and orchestrate their entire network through that single platform.
CP: What made this the right time to launch your first partner program?
CR: Our DNA, this flow-forwarding expertise that we have, is something that we’ve leveraged into the research and education markets internationally, so North America, Asia and Europe. It was the beginning of our company and the focus of our company, and now we’ve introduced a security platform and we’re reaching far beyond the research and education vertical into other verticals. And so the time is right to go global with a partner program to encourage movement into these new geographies and new verticals.
CP: Can you talk about new opportunities the program and product portfolios create for partners?
CR: I’ll use an example, and that is our security platform that we announced in February. We dub it “universal network security.” Where traditionally network security has sort of come in a monolithic solution, maybe one vendor, one box, one big, big box trying to do everything for all people in the best possible way, it’s never managed to actually achieve that. It’s really hard to be all things to all people. So our approach in that space and why we use the word universal is that we believe that for the prevention of network outages, you can actually place in lines these universal platforms that can effectively skim out bad traffic and bad things happening in your network wherever you need it to happen in your network. And so that universal aspect is you place mitigation distributed throughout your network wherever you want it to happen. And this is a new way of thinking, and so for a partner who has, for instance, a customer that, let’s say, is a service provider or a hosting provider, that hosting provider will have a network of so many locations and the partner will be talking to that hosting provider about preventing network outages, and that hosting provider will say what can you do for me. The value of our platform to our partners is that because it’s open and programmable, it can actually be used anywhere in that hosting provider’s network in conjunction with many other tools that the partner would have also within their portfolio. And so it gives them a universal tool set for protecting the network. And the value is that because we integrate against any other analytics tool – because we have an open interface – we integrate against any DDoS detection tools that are out there, we integrate against any load balancers or virtualized network functions — we actually augment their entire line card with this tool that can universally boost performance and mitigation in the network.
CP: Does the program eliminate barriers/issues partners have been facing in this space?
CR: The trend in security and networking is to try and move away from vendor lock-in, from being on that treadmill of custom platforms and to move toward designing open networks, and by open it implies these freely programmable networks. And that is becoming more and more a criteri[on] for people as they build out their networks. So our platform helps with that. So where a partner might have issue because they don’t have products that are deemed open enough, this certainly will help them in that area.
CP: How does the new program fit into your overall channel strategy? What percentage of your revenue is from indirect sales and has that been increasing?
CR: I don’t have that percentage available, but it’s a decent percentage; it’s not insignificant. And there are dynamics in different sectors, specifically in research and education, where, for instance, there are large pools of institutions. In the United States, there is an association that actually creates framework agreements with vendors and with partners, resellers, that basically negotiate through their purchasing power of representing many, many institutions. They negotiate pricing and then the separate institutions purchase within the framework of that agreement, and that is quite a common occurrence, I would say, in research and education. And so for us, being associated with partners who are part of framework agreements is very important and does represent a very important channel to that market. And in other sectors, the reason that a partner program is so important is naturally for any company, big or small, partners are a super important channel to the market. And our partners bring expertise. They’re not just camped in an office answering the phone and fulfilling POs. They are a huge value-add with their networking expertise and their security expertise. So that is huge value in terms of being able to reach end customers with their expertise that we couldn’t do alone.
CP: What are you hearing from partners regarding your product portfolios, working with Corsa, etc.?
CR: They love us because we are very responsive and our customer support. We did a survey recently and our customer support comes out as world-class and people love our customer support. And our partners love to hear that because they then have repeat business. The people that they’re bringing in as customers are delighted and excellent support reflects really well on the partners as well. Of course the product is good. As an innovative, new company, we have to have really good product.
CP: What are Corsa’s overall goals for this year? Is this year a particularly big one for your company?
CR: We announced the security platform in February, so this is a really big year for us in network security. It’s a large market; it’s a huge growth opportunity for us and it’s in a space where what we do is in high demand because it’s dramatically underserved in terms of varied performance mitigation platforms.