Network Identity Management Firm Woos Channel

Through the Infoblox IDeal Program, the company is seeking a select group of channel partners to represent its network identity appliances, and aims to sign on about 50 partners in the Americas by year's end, said Richard Kagan, vice president of marketing at Infoblox, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Infoblox has earmarked $3.3 million for channel development over the next year.

The company's appliances simplify deployment and management of essential infrastructure services such as DNS, DHCP, RADIUS and LDAP, which are commonly treated as disparate software components via shareware or ad hoc scripting, Kagan said.

Despite Infoblox's relative inexperience working with partners, solution providers said they have faith that the company will do right by them. Several of the company's executives, including President and CEO Robert Thomas and Vice President of Worldwide Sales Mark Smith, previously served at channel-friendly security vendor NetScreen Technologies.

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"NetScreen was channel-only. They nurtured their partners, and I believe that same philosophy is going to be in play at Infoblox," said Tommy Morris, general manager of eLinear Solutions, an integrator in Houston.

Infoblox's pledge to limit its number of partners resonates with solution providers.

"They're not looking to oversaturate the channel, and that creates a higher-margin opportunity for us," said Jason Gress, founder and executive vice president of InterVision Systems Technologies, Santa Clara, Calif.

On top of a 20 percent discount given to all partner program members, Infoblox offers an additional 8-point discount for 90 days to the first partner to register a potential sales opportunity.

To encourage solution providers to invest in their Infoblox product expertise, the company offers an additional 5-point discount to partners that provide technical presales services themselves without bringing in Infoblox personnel.