RSA Show: New Channel Programs Share The Spotlight

Security companies such as Voltage Security, IronPort and VeriSign were among those launching channel initiatives at the conference.

"There's no better place to attract the attention of security solution providers than at a show like RSA," said Scott Edington, vice president of marketing at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Voltage. "We figured the time and place were perfect to make a splash."

Voltage made that splash on the confab's opening day when it formally unveiled its Voltage Select Partner Program, a global channel program that includes sales and technical training, joint account planning and sales support. The effort launched with 10 channel partners, all of which will sell encrypted e-mail solutions based upon the vendor's identity-based encryption technology. Tracey Harron, general manager at Ainsworth, a Toronto-based solution provider, said the tech- nology targets enterprises that need to comply with federal regulations concerning the secure delivery of information.

"Our customers can receive, decrypt and respond to encrypted messages all without having to do any download or plug-in to their machine and desktop," she said. "This is exactly what our customers need."

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Channel growth efforts also were top news for fellow e-mail security vendor IronPort, which unveiled the expansion of its worldwide channel program. The new three-tiered Channel Partner Program offers deal registration and is designed to help solution providers serving smaller markets deliver products to their customers at reasonable price points.

Previously, IronPort targeted only high-end enterprise customers with a variety of messaging gateway appliances.

Jim Hyman, IronPort's director of channel marketing, said in its push to grab SMB market share, the San Bruno, Calif.-based vendor launched a formal certification and training program, as well as a program designed to grant partners additional market development funds, depending on volume.

"The goal is not to have this available through [hundreds] of partners in every market, but instead to hit the third-tier markets and [markets] where we're seeing dramatic growth," said Hyman. "Our strategy is calculated growth."

Finally, VeriSign took the wraps off a channel effort for solution providers selling its new VeriSign Unified Authentication solution—a combination of One-Time Password authentication tokens and software specifically designed to compete with vendors such as RSA Security.

VeriSign's Unified Authentication Channel Program includes special competitive replacement rebates of nearly 30 percent for solution providers that can convince customers to switch from RSA's SecurID solution to the new VeriSign offering. Pricing for the VeriSign token solution starts at $29 per user, per year.

Tony DiSpirito, director of channel sales at San Francisco-based VeriSign, said the partner program and price points are part of an aggressive campaign to win some of the authentication market. "We're trying to bring authentication to the masses," he said. "We feel the best way to do that is through the channel."