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RSA, The Security Division of EMC, is retooling its channel program to address an expanding product portfolio, shifting it away from a program supporting its hardware token business to one that provides training for its broader authentication business and sales of its network appliance for security analytics.
This week, the security vendor is meeting with partners at its TechFest, a three-day internal training event that puts together RSA technical engineers with partners and RSA internal sales teams. In an interview with CRN, RSA executives said the company is maintaining a mixture of direct and indirect sales and looking closely at its channel partners to better determine their areas of expertise, their commitment to RSA technologies and whether additional training is needed.
"Gone are days where we say sell everything that is on the RSA truck," said Thomas Weldon, RSA's senior director, Americas channels and inside sales. "We're spending a lot of time looking at how our partners go to market, where their expertise exists with technical sales and where they want to focus."
With hardware token use steadily declining at enterprises in favor of mobile and other authentication measures, the Bedford, Mass., company wants its partner base to embrace its adaptive authentication strategy.
RSA is integrating its recently acquired identity and access management platform maker Aveksa and, in network security, slowly phasing out its EnVision security information event management platform in favor of its reconfigured NetWitness network monitoring appliance for analytics. RSA also acquired Silicum Security, adding the company's ECAT memory behavioral analysis tool for custom malware detection. In addition, RSA engineers are busy integrating the company's risk management, Web fraud detection and data loss prevention platform.
"The more we kick the bushes and profile what our customer base is looking for, we can get the right authorized partners into that client," said William Taylor, vice president of worldwide channels and alliances at RSA. "As the marketplace changes and perimeter defense goes away, we want to train partners on what's coming; some of that skill set that we're trying to drive the partners to get to, which is the forensics mentality."
Taylor said he wants to get the channel to grow faster than RSA's business. Sales growth inside of each partner should be 10 percent faster than overall company growth, he said. Ultimately, that will drive more growth for RSA, giving it the ability to acquire more technologies and enabling its direct sales force to focus on growing new business, Taylor said.
"We need to invest in the channel now because the reality is that I need to put that money in now if I ever expect a return, and we are OK to do that," Taylor said.