Trustwave Introduces New Global Channel Partner Program

Trustwave, a cloud-based compliance and information security solutions vendor, has rolled out a new channel program that combines components of its legacy program with the former channel program of M86 Security, which Trustwave acquired last March.

The M86 acquisition added Web security, email security and advanced anti-malware technology to the new parent company's security portfolio along with more than 25,000 customers in more than 96 countries. The combined value proposition of the portfolio continues to be delivered through managed security services, software and appliances.

"We took the best of both channel programs, combined those, and then relaunched a new program for partners from both sides," Mike Bartlett, senior vice president of global sales, told CRN. "So, we've now rolled out a new deal registration program that gives partners significant margin increases by registering their opportunities with us. We've also combined a lot of the on-demand training that we had developed. Trustwave has a much broader portfolio of products, and the new combined organization now has a variety of online training tracks that enables our partners to get certified, whether that be through sales or through technology. Were also doing some cross training of top-tier partners to enable them to sell the complete portfolio."

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The Chicago-based company also plans to offer Certified Sales Engineer training in the near future.

Effective training for channel partners is more important for Trustwave than ever before. While the company has long had a direct/indirect model, the M86 acquisition has effectively tripled the percentage of business that is going through the channel, according to Bartlett. "We've also added more dedicated channel folks, part of that through M86, but also we've been adding people to our channel efforts for the last year or so."

The program has Platinum, Gold, and Silver levels, with benefits and requirements scaling based on revenues, training, and certification. There is also a referral program for partners who "flip" deals in an agency mode. Channel compensation typically ranges between 10 percent and 40 percent, according to Bartlett.

"We really looked for what tools they really needed to help them build the skills," said Theresa Damato, Trustwave's marketing vice president. "We have a live sandbox environment, which is really important to our partners in terms of demonstrating our products. They can get their hands on the gear and see how it works, and do demos for their customers. It's a VM platform, and you're interacting with the actual code, as opposed to a canned demo. They can try out everything we have and see how our Web product works with our SIEM product and our network access control product, etc."

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Meanwhile a new partner portal features more than 500 new and refreshed data sheets, marketing templates and sales tools with regionalized content that are available for co-branding.

"The portal helps partners focus in on solutions that best meet the needs of their customers," added Trustwave’s Damato. "Deal registration and other functions are also done through the portal. So, it is a one-stop shop for our partners to find content and sales training, deal registration, MDF, etc. We also have a rewards program through which points are earned for new business, in addition to the programmatic discount."

The new program has gotten a warm reception from the channel, according to the Trustwave executives.

"They are incentivizing my guys to cross-sell the Trustwave product as well as the lines from M86, with whom we've long been a partner," said Brij Patel president of Fortnet Security, of Gilroy, California. "We are trying to move into the other product lines, and this helps out quite a bit. Also, the deal registration program does a nice job of protecting the partners. This whole revamp is very close to the M86 program, so this is a very familiar to us."