A former Fortinet executive who has been named to oversee Sophos' Americas partner program will be taking a critical look at lead generation following some concern that partners have seen the flow of potential sales leads reduced to almost a trickle.
Kendra Krause, Sophos' new channel sales vice president, said that after being in the role for less than a week, she has gotten the indication from partners that lead generation is a concern. Krause, who has been in the channel since the beginning of her career, told CRN that Sophos would remain 100 percent channel driven.
"I'll be looking at our marketing efforts and making sure we're handing leads out to the right partners and getting them involved earlier than maybe we have in the past," Krause said.
Krause took over her new role this week. She will report to Dick Faulkner, Sophos' North American sales vice president. Krause has a history in the network security appliances business. In addition to being Fortinet’s channel sales and operations vice president, Krause also held positions at SonicWall and Watchguard and began her career as a network product marketing manager at CDW.
Sophos' appointment of Krause marked the second channel executive the company hired from Fortinet. In February, Sophos hired channel veteran Michael Valentine, who is serving as worldwide sales vice president. Krause said she took the job because Sophos has been an intriguing security firm with a clear vision.
"Sophos is a company that was on my radar for some time, and I think that they have a very unique offering of products and a vision of where they are going," Krause said. "It's clear that with our current product portfolio our partners will have an advantage providing a security solution for the midmarket with a lot of growth opportunity."
Krause said she plans to continue to meet with partners and maintain a strong dialogue with their concerns. At Fortinet, Krause helped rework the firms' channel program to focus on the midmarket with new unified threat management appliances. She introduced new incentives and enhanced lead generation efforts last year, including two end-user-focused call centers aimed at generating leads.
The integration following Sophos' acquisition of Wilmington, Mass.-based Astaro in 2011 may have significantly impacted the network security vendors' sales channel initiatives according to several Sophos VARs that were originally business partners with Astaro. Several partners CRN spoke with said leads have slowed since the acquisition.
NEXT: Sophos Partners Voice Concern, Remain Positive