RSA Plans Big Investments To Boost Partners

Part of RSA&'s investment includes a 30 percent increase in its channel budget, which translates to a bigger pot of marketing funds available to partners, said Lisa Gosselin, director of Americas corporate and channel sales at RSA, Bedford, Mass.

In addition, the company over the past several months has added 13 new channel-focused positions, including the naming in November of Gosselin&'s boss, RSA channel chief Michael Ross, as well as nine dedicated channel account managers, she said.

Instead of tapping territory managers to play a dual sales/channel role, RSA now is adding the dedicated channel managers, whose “sole purpose in life is the health of the channel in their geographic patch,” she said.

The channel account managers will team with partners to increase sales, help launch new products into the channel and make sure partners take advantage of the benefits of the company&'s recently revamped SecurWorld Partner Program, said Anthony D&'Angelo, RSA&'s manager of Americas channel sales.

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“They&'ll be working face-to-face with our partners, not just calling them for forecasts, but truly working with them on a strategic and tactical level,” D&'Angelo said.

RSA is also rolling out a debit card-based reward program for partners and is considering the formation of a channel partner advisory board later this year, Gosselin said.

All in all, partners said RSA&'s new channel charge should lead to increased sales and improved communications.

Solution provider Atrion Networking expects its RSA product sales to reach $1.5 million to $2 million this year, up from $1 million last year, in part because of its closer partnership with RSA, said Tim Hebert, COO of Atrion, Warwick, R.I.

“There are revenue streams we weren&'t paying attention to last year because we weren&'t focused on it,” Hebert said.

Some channel partners expressed cautious optimism over the new channel push because they said RSA historically has waffled on channel commitments.

“They keep flip-flopping. You have a channel account manager and then you don&'t,” said one partner, who requested anonymity.

RSA has a long-term commitment to its channel strategy with backing from President and CEO Art Coviello, D&'Angelo said.