About a year ago, SourceFire Inc. blew up its global channel program and decided to start again, from a blank page.
Mike Guiterman, director of worldwide channel marketing for upstart security vendor, admitted SourceFire didn’t have the strongest commitment to the channel community. One exception though was in Canada. SourceFire’s regional area manager, Shawn MacCormack, told CDN the company had always been a channel friendly vendor since 2001.
What Guiterman wanted to do was build a new channel program for trusted advisors based on core values such as mutual profitability, confidence in the partner/vendor relationship and relevance to the channel.
As a result of this re-build, SourceFire has announced a new online rewards/incentive program for Canadian solution providers. Channel partners can enroll at www.sourcefirerewards.com. The points-based program will reward partners with merchandise, travel, hotel stays and pre-paid gift cards from Visa. Channel sales reps and sales engineers from SourceFire partners are eligible to earn points by conducting meetings on mapped and non-mapped accounts, partner-led demos or evaluations, becoming certified and closing deals.
The new rewards program speeds up the process, Guiterman said. The company used to have a cash reward system but partners had to wait six weeks to get incentives. This system brings incentives to the channel in just two days.
“Cash required paper audits, sourcing funds, tracking it, many other legal issues and then it could get lost in the mail. With this partners submit a claim online, it’s reviewed by our sales staff and they can accrue points and save for a big item or get something right away,” Guiterman said.
SourceFire has begun to view malware as fundamentally a “big data” problem. SourceFire recently came out with a cloud-based enterprise security product called FireAMP, which widens the security net by looking at “fuzzier” malware signatures and broader global patterns for suspicious activity. FireAMP also uses what SourceFire calls “machine learning” to model what potential threats may look like.
Significantly, FireAMP is able to take a retrospective look at what occurred during an outbreak across a network, a capability that can be important not just for corporate security purposes, but also for legal reasons.
The margin for SourceFire partners can reach 45 per cent on deals. Guiterman said the company’s deal registration program works to protect partner investment and margins. The company also pays out a 10 per cent bonus on newly found customers or new business from existing accounts.
The company also offers channel partners resources such as courseware learning, pre-sales training, and not-for-sale products at 15 per cent off with a kicker to get them free down the road if it leads to a $50,000 net to SourceFire deal.
SourceFire also has a FireJumper program that focuses on the systems engineer community.
“We invite them to gain a level of investment and experience and we treat them as our employees,” said Guiterman. “At our annual general meeting in January, those FireJumpers got to train along side our own SEs on new products.”
MacCormack added that SourceFire is looking to grow its channel with partners that make sense. “We’re not bringing in hundreds of partners by any means. We’re at 15 to 20 in Canada and I’m comfortable with that. People can still buy through distribution.”
SourceFire’s distributors in Canada are Synnex Canada and ComputerLink.
With files from Brian Bloom.