Kaspersky places technical expertise at heart of partner efforts

Kaspersky Lab has made gaining technical expertise the cornerstone of its European partner programme

When it comes to refining partner programmes there are several options that a vendor can follow, including the decision to develop a structure that leans more heavily on rewarding those resellers that develop technical expertise.

It makes sense particularly in the security market, where sound technical knowledge is a cornerstone of developing a trusted relationship with the client, and as a result is the approach that Kaspersky Lab has chosen to pursue.

The security vendor has been revising its partner programme and has put greater emphasis on resellers gaining technical certifications and as a result silver partners must have a certified engineer on the staff.

The approach it is taking to the channel has also been harmonised across Europe to make sure that all of its levels and rewards are easier for pan-European players to understand.

"We have put some discipline into the channel [with the new programme] and we have led on technology for a long time but now have to encourage the channel to get technical accreditations," said Lee Sharrocks, sales director at Kaspersky Lab.

He added that it would be providing the channel with support and making sure there was access to techical training because ultimately it made it more likely that the partner would gain more revenue from customers if it could develop a more solution-led approach.

"If you get the technical training right and people who are selling in the right way, then there are opportunities like virtualisation, that resellers can take advantage of," he said.

Under the programme partners will be able to gain shields - badges of technical competence - in specific areas, with the options for resellers to gain more than one certification if they sell across the portfolio.

Sharrocks said that it would be providing training to partners and working closely with its distribution partners, Arrow, Wick Hill and Ingram Micro to quickly identify those resellers that want to get accreditations.

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