Clearswift Abandons Direct Sales To Focus On The Channel

The maker of the MIMEsweeper suite of content security software said this week that it will now take a channel-only strategy to better position its products for inclusion in bundled solutions, said Bobbi Frioli, vice president of channel sales and alliances.

Under the new channel program, the Bellevue, Wash.-based company plans to turn over former direct-sales accounts to top-performing channel partners and provide product-licensing commissions of up to 25 percent and cost discounts of 20 percent for closing deals that include customer-support packages, Frioli said.

Clean Sweep


Clearswift's MIMEsweeper product line offers a wide range of network tools

>> E-mail and Web-based threats

>> Legal and regulatory requirements


>> Network access provisioning
>> Encryption, filtering, firewall

Also slated to be offered on Clearswift's Web portal are a lead generation program and a deal registration program, designed to ensure that all partners involved in closing a sale are compensated, she said.

To move to 100 percent channel sales from its previous 60/40 channel-to-direct sales ratio, Clearswift has reassigned its direct-sales force to other internal duties and doubled its number of channel managers. The company, which has about 15,000 customers, also plans to limit its number of channel partners.

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"I feel that some of our partners have overexposed themselves to too many competing vendors," Frioli said. "I'd rather have fewer select partners as opposed to many who think of us opportunistically."

Clive Horton, CEO of ReSoft International, a Web and messaging VAR and Clearswift partner in New Canaan, Conn., said he's happy to see the potential for channel conflict with Clearswift's direct-sales force disappear.

"I'm already starting to see a much closer working relationship [with Clearswift] on all kinds of deals," Horton said. "Clearswift has completely replotted everything and put everything under the channel, which is good for us. There is zero channel conflict."