F5 Introduces Deal Registration

The new approach, titled the Secure Advantage Partner Program, offers solution providers a 16 percent margin advantage for registering deals. F5 is marketing the promotion as the "Sweet 16" deal-registration effort.

According to Lee Finck, director of North American channels, the changes are designed to give Secure Advantage partners a significant margin advantage over competitors in the bidding process.

"This is a move on our behalf to help solution providers protect the sales cycle investment," he said. "It's a plan that benefits all of our partners--all they have to do is register their deals."

Secure Advantage partners that inform F5 of new deals also will earn credits toward "Sweet 16 Rewards," or prizes such as flat-panel televisions, camping gear and ski trips, Finck said.

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Finck said F5 also has bolstered education for resellers of its FirePass and TrafficShield products. Among the changes, F5 has enhanced its Partner Resource Center, improved online training tools and expanded security certification programs. An F5 University course covering FirePass and online training focused on TrafficShield also are under development.

Finck said changes to the channel program were a direct result of the Seattle-based company's recent partner survey. Brian Borland, president of Capital Technology Group, a solution provider in Madison, Wis., said he was happy to see F5 paying such close attention to partner demands.

"We had been asking for deal registration for a while because it protects our margins," Borland said. "If an account is registered, competitors stay out of it, so deal registration actually protects us from losing a sale."