New Sophos Americas Chief Examining Partner Lead Gen Concerns


David Lanpher, a technical manager at Cliffside Park, N.J.-based P&M Computers, said he saw three to four leads a week when dealing with Astaro. The number plummeted under Sophos to three to four a month, Lanpher said.

"I don't know if they're focusing on larger business partners, but we've done a ton of business from the Astaro side over the years and made some large sales upwards of $2 million in firewalls alone," Lanpher said. "I think they may be considering us small potatoes now."

Lanpher and other Astaro partners said they have seen long-time sales managers appear to turn their focus on other Sophos products and initiatives. Sophos has kept the same basic shell to the Astaro case, but it changed the color and put its logo on the device, one partner said.

"It seems like they're innovating, but getting and keeping people in their territories to provide support has to be important," one partner said, requesting anonymity. "I'm sure they're looking at other areas with how big they have become, but business has changed drastically from the support to the lead generation process."

Sophos' Krause said Astaro, now called Sophos UTM, is a critical part of the company's security portfolio and has been integrated so partners can sell a complete solution. The company's product team is also currently cloud enabling the security gateway and the endpoint software to make them more compatible with managed security service providers, Krause said.

"Sophos has more of a unique offering between its endpoint and gateway solution, making up a complete solution for security," Krause said. "It's a different approach here than at Fortinet."

Sophos endpoint security partners appear to be happy. Paul Mercandetti, president and founder of Reading, Mass.-based PPM Associates (PPMA), a platinum reseller, said Sophos has been extremely responsive when he engages a potential customer. PPM Associates' largest account has 7,000 seats, Mercandetti said, and the company has been partnering with Sophos for 12 years.

"They could maybe generate some more referrals out into the channel, but otherwise, once you start working the deal, you get the right person internally and they are extremely supportive of what you need to do," Mercandetti said. "We've been in business since 1993 and been around the loop a little with various different clients; everyone has their pushes and shoves, but Sophos has been very good."

PUBLISHED APRIL 25, 2013