Websense launches new global channel program

Web and desktop security software maker Websense Inc., has introduced its new ChannelConnect Global Partner program designed to improve the way the company conducts business with the partner community.

Fiaaz Walji, country manager for Websense in Canada, said the creation of the global partner program was in part brought about because of Websense’s most recent acquisition of SurfControl last October.

The ChannelConnect Global Partner program, Walji adds, is a combination of both SurfControl and Websense’s previous partner programs.

“The key was to create one program and to merge SurfControl and Websense partners into one program that had the best features of what both companies were previously offering,” Walji said. “We were lucky from a Canadian perspective because all of the SurfControl partners were also Websense partners so it was easy for us to integrate them into the new program.”

As a result of last year’s merger, Walji says Websense now has around 135 partners to its name. He also adds that partners are excited about the new channel program because now they only have to deal with one vendor, one support number and one program.

Under the new program, partners have access to an online partner portal where they can find the necessary training, resources and other marketing support tools that are needed to help them with the sales and deployment process of Websense products.

Partners can also receive additional margins on top of what they are already making with Websense’s customer retention and deal registration margin offerings, he said.

“Depending on the level that partners are in, they can receive between two and four per cent added margins when they retain customers,” Walji explains. “Websense’s customer retention rate in Canada is high and sits between 86 to 91 per cent and we want our partners to help us retain this.”

Also set to roll out with the ChannelConnect Global Partner Program are new product bundle offerings for Web, messaging and data security. In Canada, Walji says these bundles will be available in about 90 days-time and says they will help make it easier for resellers to engage in additional sales opportunities with their respective customers.

“Bundling makes sense,” Walji says, “because resellers can offer customers a full solution to their security needs. It’s really a chance for our partners to do the burger and fries sale. We also want partners to sell these bundles so they can increase their margins and revenue streams. From a margin standpoint, we offer our partners healthy margins that sit in the double-digit range.”

Beginning next month and running through until June, Websense will be holding a series of regional conferences and meetings across major cities in North America to discuss future product and business plans along with the new program with its partners. These events are currently scheduled for Toronto, Chicago, New York and Mexico City.

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