DataPower Powers Partners With PowerLine

The program, dubbed PowerLine, supports the company's XML-Aware Networking line of Web services security and application acceleration products.

Among the first to join the new program was Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun Professional Services. Another initial participant was CBE Technologies, a solution provider in Boston.

According to Ben Wen, DataPower's senior director of channels, the program will focus on supporting channel partners to sell the company's flagship XML-Aware Networking products,XS40 XML Security Gateway and XA35 XML Accelerator.

The XS40 product is powered by DataPower's XG3 technology and is designed to provide complete Web services and security solutions without changing pre-existing applications. The XA35 product is a diskless networking device designed to offload processing from resource-constrained servers.

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Wen said that the new program will incorporate a training program to educate partners on these devices, adding that it will be the first partner program in the XML Web services industry to incorporate VARs into the partnership mix.

"If you look at what other XML companies are doing today with their partners, they almost exclusively focus on systems integrators and consultants," he noted from the company's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. "We are including VARs in this mix because we think it's affordable and sensible for them to have the opportunity to get involved."

The PowerLine program will establish a four-tiered partner structure, two tiers for VARs and two tiers for systems integrators. DataPower defines VARs as those that add consulting and other services to resell DataPower products, and systems integrators as those that deliver the deep technical skills needed to integrate DataPower products with products from other vendors. The company declined to clarify how the two categories are compensated.

In DataPower's new PowerLine program, PowerLine Silver partners will receive discounts based on sales and co-marketing, presales collaboration and training. PowerLine Gold partners receive additional support and margins directly proportional to the size of their sales.

Here in the United States, this setup suits current PowerLine partners just fine. At CBE, Vice President of Sales Warren Nelson said he expects participation in the channel program to enable his company to seek out new clients in the higher education market and to reach a different level of comfort with some of the clients it already has, including government agencies in Massachusetts.

"We haven't played well on the Web services side of things, so this gives us an opportunity to work with them," he said. "As much as we want to be all things to all clients, there are areas where we just have to reach out, and DataPower enables us to do just that."

Overseas, VAR reaction to the program was a bit more tempered. "It's [too early] to be able to make any judgement on how well the relationship is going or how good the partner program is today," said Mark O'Hara, president of Hydra Solutions, London. "DataPower certainly seems to have embraced the idea of a true partnership in that they have committed to putting all business through the channel."

Wen declined to say how many partners he was hoping to incorporate into the new program, but noted that the company is primed to expand its sales channel across the board.