Vernier To Launch Key Partner Program


New sales executive named to lead channel recruitment


Vernier Networks is kicking off an aggressive channel push Monday with the launch of its Key Partner Program and the appointment of a former Network Associates channel executive to take charge of it.

Kamal Arafeh officially starts next week in the newly created position of vice president of sales for Vernier, a WLAN infrastructure vendor based in Mountain View, Calif. Arafeh said Vernier's products have now been in the market for a couple of years, so it's a good time to shift its North American sales strategy from direct to channel-focused.

"We're really looking for solution providers with a capacity and understanding of network infrastructure in general that want to make a leap into the WLAN market," said Arafeh, formerly a channel manager at Network Associates.

Experience with and knowledge of wireless security assessments and site surveys is also important, Arafeh said. Vernier currently derives about 30 percent of its annual revenue through partnerships with about 50 solution providers but is looking to shift that to between 70 percent and 80 percent by the end of the year, he said.

Recruiting qualified partners in North America is Arafeh's top priority over the next six months, and a good chunk of about $35 million in funding raised to date will go toward those efforts and the new channel program, he said.

The Vernier Networks System is a Layer 3-based solution that allows network managers to control access and use of their WLANs at the user level. Vernier offers solution packages for both SMB and enterprise customers.

Dan Riekes, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Affidia Systems, Los Angeles, said his company is off to a good start with Vernier, judging by positive feedback from customers.

Riekes said selling product is a new venture for Affidia, which up until now was a traditional IT professional services firm focused on the education and health-care markets.

"These guys know how to set up policy for individual groups or users or areas of a campus or organization that makes things easier to manage and easier to add a lot more value," Riekes said. "That's why we decided to take on selling it."

For example, you can set up a Vernier box in a hospital that allows a person walking from corridor to corridor to jump from access point to access point without getting disconnected, Riekes said.

"They get the engineering behind what the system needs to do," Riekes said. "We're looking for big things from it.

The Vernier Networks' Key Partner Program offers two levels of authorized partnerships: Gold Key partners and Silver Key partners.

Gold partner commitments include a minimum of two systems engineers to be certified within first 60 days of contract; a minimum purchase of one IS 6500, an SMB WLAN infrastructure management solution, and one AM6500, an enterprise WLAN infrastructure management solution; a minimum of two salespeople trained within first 60 days of contract signing; and monthly end-user shipment reports to Vernier.

Gold partner discounts include a 42 percent to 48 percent competitive discount on products, a 12 percent product discount as a Tier One service provider and 20 percent product discount as a Tier Two service provider, a 35 percent discount on training classes, a 60 percent discount on spare products and 60 percent discount on demo products.

Silver partner commitments include one systems engineer to complete Vernier's two-day basic training class within first 60 days of contract, a minimum of one salesperson trained within the first 30 days of contract signing and monthly end-user shipment reports to Vernier.

Silver partner discounts include a 35 percent to 45 percent competitive discount on products; a 10 percent discount on all Vernier service products; a 30 percent discount on training classes; a 60 percent discount on spare products and a 55 percent discount on demo units.