Senforce Makes Run At Channel With Program, Products

Senforce, Draper, Utah, which has been a direct vendor catering to primarily government accounts, plans to aggressively court the channel with a new partner program, channel sales organization, and new products like Senforce Wi-Fi Security (SWIS), launched Tuesday, said Mike Hall, president and CEO.

Hall told CRN that within a year he wants to see Senforce doing 90 percent of its business through partners. Helping to orchestrate that shift in sales culture will be a new channel chief that Hall said he's like to have named by August of this year.

Senforce also plans to bring its traditionally enterprise-level end-point security portfolio to a wider audience. "We will build a mid-market channel next quarter," Hall said.

At the heart of Senforce's product strategy is its Endpoint Security Suite (ESS). ESS software manages network interfaces and can sense when a device such as a notebook changes connections. The software can then shut down routes such as wireless connections to unauthorized or undocumented hot spots, based on server-based policies. "To be any more secure you'd have to build it into the hardware," said Kip Meacham, director of technical marketing for Senforce.

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Senforce Wi-Fi Security arrives Tuesday as a separate but integrated offering to ESS, Hall said. The reason for Senforce breaking the Wi-Fi offering out into a point product is twofold, with both reasons benefiting potential resellers, Hall said.

The Wi-Fi offering gives VARs the ability to specifically solve the Wi-Fi security needs of endpoint clients, a strategy that keeps a sales conversation alive in a customer environment that has its other endpoint security needs addressed and may not need the full ESS, said Meacham.

And second, selling a customer the Wi-Fi offering gives VARs an inroad into the logical next step: upselling customers in ESS, or offering ESS as a displacement option for customers with existing endpoint security deployments from Senforce competitors such as Check Point Software, Redwood City, Calif..

Senforce's channel aspirations and desire to march further into the mid-market could be met head-on by similar moves from competitor Check Point. At its Check Point Experience 2005 partner and user conference in Orlando, Fla., last month, the vendor made no bones about the opportunity it saw in the lucrative midmarket. Partners there said Check Point's new NGX platform has midmarket written all over it because the platform simplifies the management of the vendor's multiple point product menu.

Hall approaches the channel with experience gleaned from his participation in developing channels for both Novell, and LANdesk, where he was vice president of worldwide sales and strategic alliances, he said.