Supercom on Monday painted its recently announced partnership with security solutions provider Sonicwall Inc. as a rare financial opportunity for resellers.

“The opportunity for resellers to make some good margins is something we don’t see with a lot of vendors, either ours or our competitors,” said Karl Anto, marketing services manager for Markham, Ont.-base Supercom.

“They (Sonicwall) have good margins. And they also have a number of programs geared towards enhancing the reseller’s margin.”

David Crilley, director of channel marketing for Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Sonicwall said applications extra to Sonicwall’s Internet access security appliances are a major cash source for resellers. Resellers can offer extras like content filtering and virtual private network add-ons.

“There’s the opportunity to make money through services rather than just hardware because that’s where the money is,” Crilley said.

“Almost like you would sell french fries with a hamburger.”

Individual salespeople can earn extra cash through Sonicwall’s Partner Advantage program. Salespeople enrolled in the program are issued MatserCard-managed debit cards and accrue money based on sales performance. The debit balance can be spent anywhere MasterCard is accepted, Crilley said.

Sonicwall’s Select Partner program rewards resellers with discounts from distributors and soft dollars that can be spent on marketing initiatives. To be eligible, resellers must send one staff member through Sonicwall sales training and one through Sonicwall technical training. Last week, the company announced its Select Plus program, which doubles the rewards provided the reseller doubles the amount of staff receiving training.

Though Sonicwall has had Canadian distribution through Ingram Micro Canada and Tech Data Canada for about a year, the agreement is Supercom’s first with a security specialist.

“This represents somewhat of a different focus for us,” Anto said.

Anto said interest in security has been growing concern over the past few years, well before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But Crilley said recent events have spiked awareness of subterfuge in data communications as well as through physical attacks.

“We’re seeing that around the world where’s there’s a renewed interest in sealing up the networks,” he said.

In contrast to offerings from the competition, Sonicwall’s appliances come pre-configured not to allow anything onto the local area network that is not specifically defined by the user.

“The difference is that the purchase price is typically a lot less,” Crilley said. “As well, the product comes out of the box pre-configured for maximum security.”

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