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Enabling SMB channels

In what looks set to be a big year for Trend Micro’s channel partners in the Middle East, the IT security vendor is continuing its efforts to ramp up channel initiatives for the region. Top of the agenda is the company’s push to enable its SMB channel and to continue helping its resellers by providing support to end-users through training initiatives.


Chris Moore, GM, Middle East, Africa and Mediterranean at Trend Micro, says the channel focus for 2010 will be one that further facilitates partners that play in the SMB and enterprise markets to efficiently serve their clients. “We will continue the strategy of further enabling our SMB channels to support end-users by continuing to train partners on the right skills to do their job effectively,” he says.


In addition, Moore says the company will also continue to make tools like its unique “Worry Free Remote Manager” available to its partners, to enable them to actively and remotely monitor their customers’ security.


Aside from that, Trend Micro will be adding specialisation of Enterprise channels to focus on the likes of its new strategic product areas. “We anticipate consumer channels will continue to grow,” he says.


As the IT industry continues to see consolidation in the IT security space, Moore says it’s vital that the company keeps its channel abreast with what’s happening around them. “Training and information exchange are fundamental,” he says.


Moore goes on to say that partners have to balance the time taken by the large numbers of vendors’ products in training versus active selling, which is the ultimate goal.


He explains that one fundamental thing about Trend Micro is that it keeps this simple and relevant to the needs of its channel partners (and the customer). “This is done by regular communication, workshops and on-site support in sales and pre-sales activities,” he says. “At the product level, ease-of-use by partners and customers is key to success.”


Engagement model


As Trend Micro readies itself and rallies its channel behind its strategies on how it will target its addressable market in the Middle East region this year, Moore points out that it’s important that the company continues to be innovative. “We are ready to deliver innovative solutions through the telcos and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and will also be looking to engage with software as a service (SaaS) channels,” he says. “Beyond that we will expand into more joint partners with strategic partners.”


He explains that at the moment, Trend Micro has a number of vendor partnerships; at a corporate level, EMEA and locally. These, Moore says include software and hardware vendors, a number of which OEM Trend Micro’s technologies and others with whom it partners at an alliance level. “Our flexible approach with other vendors particularly supports our joint channel partners, making it easier for them to deliver real solutions to customers,” he notes.


Moore adds that Trend‘s products and solutions cover all verticals and will continue to enjoy success in all segments.


However, Moore says with its latest innovative data centre security solutions for both traditional and virtualised environments, markets like the Payment Card Industry and banking are particularly relevant. “With growing security breaches in the data centres, these solutions will also address the security needs of any organisation with a data centre at their core,” he says.


Evolving IT threats


With the nature of IT threats constantly evolving, how is Trend Micro helping its channel partners on what to focus on? Moore says it’s simple, all companies in the business of selling solutions want customer loyalty to buy again and in particular Trend’s partners don’t want the pain of deploying and managing complex products which don’t meet the needs of the ever changing threats and attacks. “Therefore, we are telling our partners to focus on selling solutions that are going to give them the least costs and pain in deployment and management, maximising customer satisfaction,” he says.


According to Moore, this means delivering to customers solutions that meet the latest threats head-on, using multi-layered security, such as the Trend Micro solutions that are powered by Smart Protection Network (correlating Web, file and email reputations).


And while earlier in 2009 Trend Micro ramped up channel initiatives for the Middle East to provider better coverage and service to both distributors and solution providers in the region, the vendor has not relented on this and will be further enhancing its channel initiatives in the region.

Moore says Trend Micro has restructured its partner programmes to reward loyalty and competence rather than simple revenue. “We have deployed further rewards and incentive programmes that have supported growth in key areas,” he says. “We have also focussed our efforts with distributors in recruitment and support.”


As most vendors in the IT security space are urging their partners to specialise, Moore says it’s absolutely important that its certified channel partners gain some specialisation. “We have particular specialist areas such as Deep Security, Data Leak Prevention, Email Encryption and Threat Management Services on offer,” he says.


He points out that in 2009, Trend Micro made major investments in the region. “We have increased our technical and sales focussed staff and invested in improved escalation processes, and delivered improved training and certification,” he says.


Looking to the future, Moore is upbeat that the company’s latest products and solutions give its partners yet another opportunity to sell and open up opportunities not previously available to them. “We will continue to help our channel to be equipped to sell,” he says. “Key examples are; Deep Security, Worry Free and Threat Management Services tools.”


While there is a lot of optimism in the Middle East channel at the moment, Moore says, the “big” message to channel partners and end-user customers is that Trend has re-vamped its suites to make these products easier to sell and more relevant to the current needs of customers – simplicity and value. That is the competitive edge and channel enablement Trend will be giving its channel.



Security software vendor Trend Micro is upping its ante in the SMB space as the vendor is preparing a series of initiatives and strategies that will help it to further enable its SMB channels in the Middle East region.

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