Trend Micro Cutting Partners Via Formal Review Program

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Temple said Trend Micro's portfolio appeals to enterprise customers looking for advanced threat protection and its data center virtualization security software, as well as small, home office users needing standard antimalware protection. A good reseller will have a conversation with the customer and align its business needs with the right products in the portfolio, he said.

"Overselling a product that the customer doesn't need is doing a disservice to the customer, and is a losing proposition for the partner and the vendor," Temple said.

Trend Micro is looking for partners that will bring it success, said Steve Carey, PC Connection's product marketing manager. PC Connection has been a Trend Micro platinum-level partner for more than a decade.  

"The relationship has to benefit both parties, not just the vendor or the partner, and I'm sure that is a key factor here," Carey said. "A lot of times, it is a mutual decision to part ways."

The channel compensation model also was tweaked to align compensation with the strengths that the individual partner has, Panda said. A partner that consistently sells into small and midsize businesses will now get incentives to drive additional sales there. For enterprise sales, that partner will get a flat rebate or a flat discount rather than a broader set of incentives, Panda said.

"There is every incentive available that we possibly can give for them to hit their numbers and go higher in the midmarket, Panda said.

Trend Micro executives also are simplifying packages for the SMB market and large business segments based on the components each segment is likely to use, Panda said. The company offers an Advanced, Standard and Services edition of its suite. Enterprise deployments have additional capabilities, including encryption, the company's data loss prevention and Deep Discovery advanced threat detection offering. In addition to offering a flexible deployment model with cloud, hybrid and on-premise options, the firm is offering a "portable" license model to avoid penalizing businesses for using different architectures. A newly launched service provider program offers usage-based billing for most of its products, Panda said. 

The company also took a hard look at its distribution model, incenting distributors to work with silver- and bronze-level partners rather than gold and platinum partners, Panda said. Trend Micro has channel managers to work with gold and platinum partners, he said. Incentives were also built in to retain customer accounts and bolster reseller productivity.

"Recruiting resellers and making them do one or two transactions does not help Trend Micro," Panda said. "We want them doing multiple transactions and getting to a certain level where we are suddenly relevant to their business."


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