A national distributor for Sophos Software is expected to be named by the end of next month as the first step to expanding the presence of the company’s anti-virus product line among Canadian resellers.
The move comes after Sophos gave up trying to serve resellers here from the U.S., who had
to buy product in American dollars, and appointed Keating Technologies Inc. to run its Canadian strategy.
“”Our strength is having a more intimate relationship with the Canadian channel base than Sophos,”” said Art Keating, vice-president of business and corporate development for Keating Technologies.
“”That allows Sophos speed to market to get access to those accounts.””
It needs that speed: Keating estimates the current Sophos market penetration here is in single digits.
While U.K.-based Sophos specializes in corporate anti-virus solutions, the market is crowded with products from Computer Associates International. Inc., McAfee Security and Symantec Corp., leaving one industry analyst wondering if the company is late.
“”It’s hard for me to imagine any corporation that hasn’t already got anti-virus software,”” said Alister Sutherland, software research director for IDC Canada. “”It’s going to be a bit of a challenge to gain real traction in the Canadian market.
“”That said, if they’ve got compelling service, a good product, competitive pricing and can demonstrate their value proposition, they have an opportunity.””
In looking for resellers, preference will go to those experienced in anti-virus and security solutions, Keating said.
Resellers should be attracted to Sophos’ pricing, which lets resellers keep a share of customer licensing fees including renewals.
Some companies only give resellers a slice of the initial licensing fee, he said.
SONA Inc., an Ottawa reseller about to start Sophos product training, welcomed the news.
“”We look forward to receiving the same high level of support from Keating on the Sophos product as we have in the past with their other vendor partners,”” said Kelly Bizeau, the company’s marketing manager.
Sophos has a three-tier channel program: reseller, partner and certified partner. The last two have sales quotas and training requirements. Certified partners also get sales leads.
Keating said his company will generate those leads as well as interest in the Sophos line by setting up a vendor booth at events like the Linux show and upcoming government and security shows in Hamilton and Toronto.
The line includes MailMonitor and Enterprise Manager, for distributing the anti-virus software across a network.
Product advantages include the ability to run over 25 platforms, and bilingual 365-day support, Keating said.