Sophos open to channel technical advice

Sophos has shown it is willing to listen to the channel involving reseller CTOs in its product decision making process

Sophos continues to involve resellers in its decision making process after wrapping up its technical council with an assurance that suggestions from partners will influence its future roadmap development.

The security vendor's technical reseller council meets twice a year and provides reseller level CTOs with a chance to have detailed conversations about product development with a chance for feedback that will shape the eventual public release of software.

Some examples of where the technical channel experts have been able to influence plans include recommending changes to the user interface and management panels on some of the forthcoming software.

James Vyvyan, regional vice president of the UK at Sophos, said that it had representatives from all sides of its business, including end-user, network and cloud security groups interacting with partners.

"Channel account managers and sales managers have conversations [with Sophos] all the time but the CTO has less and we are trying to provide that access," he said.

Vyvyan added that it was holding a similar event with technical partner heads outside the UK at its EMEA channel event in May and there was a move to do similar events elsewhere globally.

Paul Burns, national technology director at TSG, said that it was valuable to meet with peers as well as getting a chance to talk to vendor about the technical plans they had felt that the channel had real influence over future plans.

He added that not that many vendors had established technical councils and the key to success was for them not to be used as simply a means to try to pitch products as the audience would not react well to a one-way conversation.

"We have got influence and Sophos is listening to the partners. It's a really good forum and if used in the right way and be really valuable," he said.

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