Sophos seeks additional UK partners to build on channel success

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Global IT security and data protection firm Sophos has announced plans to expand its channel presence in the UK in two distinct areas. The move will support the company's ambitious growth plans and allow it to take full advantage of its enhanced product set and ability to deliver coordinated, best-in-class threat and data protection offerings from every endpoint to any network boundary.

In the first instance, Sophos is looking to target additional value-added resellers, who can both deliver and benefit from providing additional services around Sophos solutions, as the breadth of its product offering increases. The second requirement is for additional breadth partners who typically provide Sophos solutions as part of a managed IT service to a largely small business client base.

Sophos's UK partner programme has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, by capitalising on a rare single tier model and a 100 percent channel focus.  This approach, which differs from most in the industry, allows Sophos to work directly with its partners to help close deals and to provide an unparalleled level of support both pre- and post-sale.  Sophos's continued growth at levels above the market average is testament to the exceptionally close and stable relationships the company has established with its partners. The benefits are felt by both Sophos and partners as demonstrated by the high levels of new business revenue generated by new value-added reseller BMS in just four months:

"BMS began working with Sophos in November last year but we have already established a rock-solid working relationship with the account team there and have benefited from both the close involvement of Sophos in helping to close individual deals and other benefits such as training and margin protection offered through the Sophos Partner Programme. We have found Sophos easy to work with. Since becoming a Sophos partner, we have seen huge interest in Sophos's product range from our customers, so much so that in our first four months of working with Sophos we achieved an impressive 250k of new business revenue. We are now looking forward to building on that strong start this financial year," said Tina Tsoukatos, Managing Director at BMS.

"Sophos's channel programme is designed to deliver the best experience possible for our partners," said James Vyvyan, director of channel for UK & I at Sophos.  "We believe in establishing quality, long-term partnerships, so we always ensure we're adding value for partners whether that's in margin, training or support. We work on the understanding that if we work well for you, you'll work well for us. We believe that this approach is firmly behind our popularity with channel partners and have seen some real successes with partners switching exclusively to Sophos. As a result, we're  now looking to expand our partner network and to invite others to 'switch to Sophos'".

A fundamental strength of Sophos's partner programme is the support partners receive from the vendor. This is provided through a combination of personalised training and certification combined with ongoing technical and sales assistance to help win specific business.

"The personal relationship Sophos offers to partners is above and beyond other partnership deals," said Steve Cox, CTO at TSG.  "Sophos invests in its partnerships to ensure they are fruitful.  With training courses to improve technical and sales competency, Sophos is helping partners differentiate themselves in the market place.  In addition to this, the partner portal with on-demand information complemented by an easily accessible sales support team means that partners are never left to sell in the dark".

A further strength of Sophos's partner programme is that it offers resellers a distinct financial advantage.  The margin protection offered by a transparent channel programme, incremental discounts based on the partners' investment in each deal, as well as additional benefits such as the incentive to generate new business opportunities and a competitive incumbency programme, means that Sophos's partner relationships are second to none.

"The Sophos and Somerbys IT partnership is a joy to be a part of and most critically it makes simple financial sense," said Jonathan Appleton, MD at Somerbys IT, which delivers Sophos solutions as part of a managed service to its customer base of SMEs.  "Sophos is now almost the only security vendor we sell because of the exceptional partner programme it offers.  Sophos's key differentiator is that it doesn't compete with us directly and therefore doesn't impinge on our margin or our relationship with customers this is certainly not true of other security vendors.  Sophos clearly believes in good business relationships, whether that be with the customer, with the partner or with the account manager and we thoroughly support this."

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