Vectra, Sumo Logic, Konica Minolta and HP work on partner programmes

Vendors continue to enhance channel progammes and sign up more resellers to the fold

The coronavirus has underlined just how important partnerships are, whether with resellers and customers or vendors and their channels, and efforts to improve those relationships continue.

The past few days have seen a number of vendors cut the ribbon on fresh programmes or add more partners to existing efforts.

For network threat and detection response (NDR) specialist Vectra, it was deemed to be the right moment to launch an enhanced global partner programme. The move has been accompanied by increased training options for partners and a decision to expand into the commercial market.

“Vectra has always been a channel-focused company and we are thrilled to roll out new benefits that strengthen the way our partners conduct business,” said Hitesh Sheth, president and CEO at Vectra. “NDR is gaining unprecedented traction and we look forward to strengthening our partnerships with a scalable partner framework and training programme.”

The programme has three levels – sell, deliver services and manage services. Once resellers have chosen which fits them best, there is also the chance to opt for becoming an ambassador or authorised partner.

“The strong focus on network detection and response complements our service offering perfectly,” said Grant Paling, global services product manager at Orange CyberDefense. “The introduction of the Vectra partner programme has further helped to improve the ease of engagement through better flexibility and alignment to our model as a managed security services provider.”

Sumo Logic has also chosen this week to launch its Practice Builder programme, designed for the MSP and MSSP communities.

“Customers’ security environments are becoming more complex, and we are seeing an ever-increasing need for MSSP and MDR providers across our customer and prospect base,” said Jabari Norton, vice-president of global channels at Sumo Logic. “This increase in demand is challenging service providers to find solutions that deliver both fast value and strong cost economics, so they can provide a profitable and scalable service to their customers.

“Sumo Logic’s Practice Builder is designed to provide the foundation for providers to build an end-to-end security programme that requires no capital investment or infrastructure to manage.”

The programme offers training, licensing and sales enablement tools and will give managed service providers increased visibility into customer cloud environments.

For document and imaging player Konica Minolta, the focus has been on extending the ranks of its partner base, with the firm announcing it has signed up a channel partnership with Manchester-based ITECH Managed Services.

ITECH recently went through an MBO and saw a relationship with Konica Minolta as important to give greater coverage in the business systems market.

“Most of our SME customers outsource their IT services, so as a trusted print supplier, we are already very well placed to cater for these needs too,” said Paul Hamilton, managing director of ITECH Managed Services. “In a crowded market, it’s vital to stand out, so by offering a consultative approach, breadth of services and excellent support, we provide a considerable value-add to our customers.”

For the print vendor, the latest relationship is part of an ongoing commitment to expand the channel to provide wide market coverage.

“ITECH Managed Services is a perfect fit for our channel growth strategy,” said Neil Hamilton, UK channel development manager at Konica Minolta. “Managing director Paul Hamilton and his team have a proven ability to build a successful business and are particularly well known and respected in the North West.”

Meanwhile, over at HP, the vendor is shining a light on its education partnerships with its HP for Education 2020 programme on track to produce its most successful year.

This is the first year that the programme, which targets pupils and parents, teachers, schools and colleges with trade-in and upgrade offers, has been entirely managed by Consenna.

“The support of HP’s leading education partners has been pivotal in elevating the programme so significantly,” said Paul Thompson, commercial director at Consenna. “Many have embraced the value and impact of the enhancements we’ve made, which has undoubtedly enabled them to engage more effectively with schools and colleges at such a challenging time.

“To put this into context, during just the first six months of this year’s programme, over 500 new schools have registered, which equates to a 30% uplift compared to the entirety of the programme to date.”

One of the partners that is involved with the programme, Yolanta Gill, CEO at European Electronique, said access to HP’s education experts had helped, but so had the vendor’s response to the coronavirus.

“For our sales team, it is the responsiveness of the HPfE programme team that is a real competitive advantage,” she said. “The speed with which they pivoted the programme once schools were closed and the wealth of bespoke online resources available have really made HPfE stand out in the edtech marketplace.”

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