Infoblox To Push Partner Security Sales Through Pilot Rebate Program

Infoblox has rolled out a pilot rebate program to encourage select strategic partners to invest more heavily in the company's portfolio of security tools.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based network identity appliance provider is targeting 10 channel partners with deep roots and expertise in security to pilot the year-long rebate program focused on turning up net-new customers and opportunities for Infoblox around security, according to Lori Cornmesser, vice president of worldwide partner alliances.

"I think it's an important initiative for the company," Cornmesser said during an interview Tuesday at the Infoblox Americas Partner Summit in Paradise Valley, Ariz.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Former Ixia Channel Chief Lori Cornmesser Jumps To Network Identity Player Infoblox]

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Targets for channel partners participating in the rebate pilot will be set based on their historical business with Infoblox as well as their growth rate, Cornmesser said. Rebates for achieving the basic goals will be paid out quarterly, she said, while stretch goals for the channel partners will focus on longer-term objectives.

Specific rebates amount were not disclosed, but Cornmesser characterized the incentives as "aggressive." Since Infoblox is asking these strategic partners to make a significant investment around security from a time, resources and training perspective, the company wants to ensure that the return on investment is valuable to the channel, said Bill McCarthy, executive vice president of worldwide field operations.

Security-focused rebates absolutely pique the interest of Denver-based Optiv, which plans to examine what else the company could potentially be doing from a services perspectives around integrations with Infoblox, according to Brian Jones, area vice president for Southeast and federal.

Jones said the rebate should help trigger discussions that ultimately could result in more services being pulled through so that customers can better take advantage of what Infoblox has to offer.

"It will absolutely raise an interest," Jones told CRN. "It'll cause us to have conversations that will lead to mutually profitable opportunities for both of us [Optiv and Infoblox]."

Infoblox hopes the introduction of the rebate program will help grow the company's security business from 20 percent of total revenue today to between 30 percent and 35 of overall revenue down the road, McCarthy said. Infoblox hopes to have at least $20 million of partner-led security business in the year ahead, according to Cornmesser.

The company has enjoyed strong growth in its security business, McCarthy said, which includes detection and protection against external and internal Domain Name System (DNS)-based threats such as cache poisoning, hijacking, reflection attacks and amplification attacks.

"Infoblox is taking security very seriously," Jones told CRN. "It absolutely speaks volumes about what they think of the security market and their investment in their platform toward that market."

Cornmesser expects that the partners selected for the pilot rebate program will integrate Infoblox into their broader security offerings. Deepening relationships with these solution providers was appealing to Infoblox since they're touching customers that map to where the company is looking to notch more wins, Cornmesser said.

Infoblox hasn't done much with rebates to date, McCarthy said, but he knows from work at previous suppliers that these rebates can be very meaningful to the bottom line for SMB-focused channel partners. The company will look into expanding the rebate program to its entire partner community as well as to other technologies if the security-focused pilot is successful.

"Other large vendors in the market have proven that it [a rebate program] works," McCarthy said.

An obvious next choice for a rebate would be the company's ActiveTrust Cloud (ATC) offering since it goes hand-in-glove with what Infoblox is doing on the security side of its business, according to Jones. A rebate should help drive further adoption of ATC and assist customers who are on the cloud migration journey, Jones said.