BorderWare releases MXFusion channel program

BorderWare Technologies Inc. has announced its first-ever-tiered program to group its channel into different types of resellers and to help partners sell its e-mail security solutions.

Called MXFusion, the program marks the first time in BorderWare’s history that it’s had a comprehensive go-to-market

strategy around partnering, said a company executive.

“”We had a program (BorderWare Partner Program) but it was not as robust and not really reflective of the current market situation and the current market opportunity,”” said Gregg Timmons, vice president of Americas sales and alliances.

Timmons, who hails from Netscape, says he, along with the director of partner sales, who worked at Citrix, “”get how to do the partnering thing.””

In the past, BorderWare’s channel made up about 75 to 80 per cent of its business, according to Timmons. In January, BorderWare added a direct sales force but Timmons maintains the firm remains committed to the channel.

“”Historically, this company has always run its business through the channel,”” he said. “”We’ve built the business with a channel focus.””

Named after the fusion between vendors and partners and BoderWare’s flagship hardware appliance, MXtreme Mail Firewall, MXFusion is divided into five levels.

Three are for partners who plan to resell MXtreme and two are for partners who consult with customers on products related to e-mail security.

The first group includes MXFusion Enterprise Partners and MXFusion Value Added Partners that are top-tier, technically trained and certified MXtreme resellers and MXFusion Reseller Partners, who sell small business solutions.

The second group includes MXFusion Consulting Partner and MXFusion Solutions Advisor. The latter is designed for independent consultants or small companies that seek out BorderWare customers but lack a local market or internal resources to support that business.

BorderWare has 500 partners worldwide with 300 in North America. But Timmons stressed that the company is not looking to grow that number.

“”On the rollout of this program, I’m not on a recruitment bench,”” he said. “”I’m not here to go from 500 to 5,000. The goal of the program is to take the partners who can execute in the marketplace and get them the resources to do that. To do it so it grows faster and we reach more opportunities. At the end of the day, partners don’t do anything with you unless there’s something in it for them and there’s good margins here and there’s a great marketplace.””

Partners selling MXtreme typically make between 20 to 30 per cent margins, which the company said is comparable to selling traditional firewalls in the past. The MXtreme product line sits on the edge of the network to guard against disruptions to an organization’s e-mail communications such as spam, viruses, and buffer overflows.

Since its launch in 2002, BorderWare has shipped over 2,000 MXtreme systems worldwide. Timmons expects that number to grow “”significantly”” in the next year or so, as the larger vendors aren’t playing in this new space of the security market yet.

Harry Zarek, president of Compugen Inc., a long-time partner, said the program rewards partners who add value to BorderWare’s products and keeps margins healthy.

“”It’s an excellent program for those who are on the value side of the marketplace,”” said Zarek. “”It recognizes investments we need to make to get trained and certified on the product and maintains margins that are important to have on the product side.””

Zarek added that this program attracts the right kind of partners and not those who sell security products like they are a commodity item.

“”This is a huge issue in our industry where you have volume players who they don’t care where they’re selling you toner cartridge or selling you a high end server,”” he said. “”They’re going to use a similar cost plus markup which is very low because they haven’t made any investment in that.””

Compugen spends a lot of time with the customer before the sale to find out what their security needs are and to run test pilots of the product, all of which can make the cost of the sale more expensive, he said.

Andy Bennis, vice-president of sales and marketing at Interwork Technologies Ltd., a security-focused distributor, believes BorderWare’s channel strategy with MXFusion will cater to partners who want to make an investment.

“”The key thing they’ve done now is they’re rewarding the right partners who are making the right level of investment with them,”” said Bennis. “”By creating those five different levels within their MXFusion program, based on the partner’s commitment, they’re going to get a significant return on that.””

Bennis added that the program meets the needs of the partner community.

“”That’s what our resellers are asking. They want to be clearly differentiated across other resellers based on their level of investment.””

Bennis has watched BorderWare evolve as a channel company over the years and says this initiative fits in very well with what the company is trying to do.

“”They’ve got a very clear direction,”” he said. “”(Interwork) has seen the evolution of BorderWare for a number of years.””

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