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Peterson has his roots in the channel, working for many years at Compaq and then turning to manage worldwide sales at McAfee and SIEM appliance vendor ArcSight, which is now part of Hewlett-Packard.
"I have learned that if you want to be successful in this industry you have to do business with folks that have been building out the customer's networks, recommending products and providing professional services and education of these customers for a long time," Peterson said.
In addition to certification and training, Peterson said Sourcefire is making a significant investment in channel marketing, doubling the number of people to boost network security sales in the Global 2000 account base, with event-based marketing, Peterson said.
Sourcefire has a standard Silver, Gold and Platinum tier-level channel program and partners can work up those tiers based on certification and sales volumes. Deals can be registered by the partner that has the relationship with the account that Sourcefire is targeting, Peterson said. The partner that registers the deal, closes the deal, he said.
Sourcefire has excelled at providing information about its product road map and strategy to partners, said Brian Stoner, vice president of corporate business development at Omaha, Neb.-based managed security service provider Solutionary. Stoner, who manages Solutionary's partner alliances, said Sourcefire has taken the lead in both training and educating its partners.
"I think many vendors are starting to realize that the big VARs that bring in the big revenue aren't necessarily the guys who manage the solution," Stoner said. "Sourcefire has been innovative in coming up with programs and outreach to MSPs like Solutionary."