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As with any new program, there are always challenges; however, one Sophos partner feels confident that proper training will aid in the transition, and that the program will ultimately add to his company’s sales repertoire.
"New channel programs can be challenging, but in many cases the challenge is a positive one," said Sam Heard, president of Data Integrity Services, a Lakeland, Florida-based Sophos partner. "We will be training for additional capabilities, which will give us a new arrow in our quiver and help us to broaden our skill sets. Once our guys get certified, we can better upsell into an expanded product line."
In addition to supporting certifications and other metrics that need to be tracked, a new partner portal supports deal registration, quotes, product ordering and more. Sophos' Skala added that partners from both sides of the aisle will see components of their legacy program embedded into the new one.
"The certifications have more of an Astaro flair, but the margins and incentives are based on Sophos," she said. "For instance, Astaro did not have deal registration, but deal registration is now part of the combined program. We also are keeping MDF and spiffs from the Sophos side. But, the certification program, on the other hand, basically comes from Astaro."
"A lot of the input came from the partners themselves," summarized Skala. "We were very interested in what they liked about the program, and what they didn't like about the program. And, they were very vocal about their preferences. We spent a lot of time making sure that we did not ostracize any of our constituents."