Shavlik Technologies Launches Partner Program

The St. Paul, Minn.-based security software company, known for its HFNetChkPro patch management platform, rolled out its two-tier partner program Friday at the Microsoft partner confab, which runs July 8-10. "The timing couldn't be better for us to have the Microsoft event in our backyard," said Mark Shavlik, founder and CEO of the company.

Shavlik has offered its software to resellers on an ad hoc basis in the past but is formalizing a partner program to help drive sales of its platform, company executives said. In September, Shavlik plans to launch an upgrade of its HFNetChkPro platform version 5.5, which will integrate its antispyware technology with its patch management solution. The company said it soon expects to release the second beta of its planned antispyware product.

Shavlik's partner program consists of Trusted Advisor and Trusted Agent designations. Trusted Agents are compensated for selling to small and midsize businesses, while Trusted Advisors are consultants that focus on selling to resellers in the security space and offering security solutions and services to corporate sites.

The program, which was architected by Shavlik's recently hired channel executive Paul Jacobsen, features a point system and rewards partners with margins on sales of between 20 percent and 30 percent as well as other partner-selected benefits, such as sales and engineer training, quarterly rebates, marketing development funds and leads.

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Jacobsen, who serves as director of VAR sales and formerly worked on channel programs for McAfee and RSA Security, said partners can spend their 25 points to earn the highest 30 percent profit margin, or they can spend 10 points to earn a 20 percent margin to receive more of the other benefits.

"This is our official launch. We've sold through resellers on a one-off basis, but it's been more of a fulfillment model," Jacobson told CRN. "Now we have a points-based system listing the benefits that gives partners flexibility to customize it per partner and craft unique arrangements based on partner needs."

One security reseller that's one of Shavlik's first Trusted Advisors said the program stands to help partners make money. "They are willing to build a program that fits our business model, and it is not a one-size-fits-all approach that is the trademark of some programs out there," said Todd O'Bert, president of Productive, a solution provider in Minneapolis. "If you want to provide level-one support on their products, you can get additional margin. It's not the usual sham."

Shavlik, a former Microsoft developer, said the opportunity for a partner program is ripe, given the increased corporate focus on patching servers and, increasingly, desktops. The ISV competes against software vendors such as PatchLink and BigFix as well as Microsoft, which offers SMS 2005 for corporate customers and recently launched its long-awaited Windows Server Update Services server for Windows Server 2003 and the Microsoft Update Web site.

Shavlik said he expects to see more business as a result of Microsoft's endorsement and because patching is becoming a bona fide, daily IT business process at most corporate sites. Company executives added that Shavlik offers what Microsoft does not: support for multiple platforms and for many non-Microsoft applications, including Mozilla Foundation's FireFox, Adobe Systems software, WinZip and RealNetworks' RealPlayer. Shavlik also launched an upgrade of its Red Hat Linux solution and a new offering for Sun Solaris in June.

"Patching is a small part of what Microsoft does. We can arm Microsoft partners with another solution that helps them generate more revenue and offer a differentiated solution," Shavlik said.