And Orenberg takes the metaphor a step further: "So far, we haven't crossed over the white line."
Kaspersky, which sells its anti-virus and Internet security products almost exclusively through solution providers, has been assembling its channel program and enlisting channel partners since the company exploded on the scene a few years ago. Orenberg's challenge this year has been making sure all the pieces for an effective channel program are in place--and holding it together through the company's rapid growth.
While the inclination of someone in Orenberg's position might be to enlist as many channel partners as possible to maintain that momentum, the Kaspersky executive -- if anything -- is more concerned with signing up too many resellers. "We consciously don't want to over-distribute the product," Orenberg said in a recent interview in his corner office in a Woburn, Mass., office park. That leads to more competition between solution providers and leaner profit margins.
Kaspersky currently has some 400 channel partners in the U.S. While the company is still recruiting, it's being very selective. Orenberg mocks IT vendors who put out press releases professing their commitment to the channel by signing up 5,000 resellers. "How is that a commitment?" he asks.
So Orenberg is focused on making sure the elements for an effective channel program are in place, such as offering enough training and other resources for partner certification. "We want to make sure that any channel partner we bring on isn't orphaned," Orenberg said.