The secret to success for Check Point Canada partners

Paul Comessotti

Check Point Canada boss (and commando afficianado) Paul Comessotti

Check Point Canada regional director Paul Comessotti has one piece of advice for his company’s partners.

It’s time to go commando.

No, it’s okay for Check Point VARs to keep their shorts on. Really… boxers or briefs. It’s all good.

The type of “commando” Comessotti wants from his partners is a different type altogether. He says his most successful partners are the ones who form “commando teams” with his own sales and technical crew, and work together to land customers.

In a briefing with tech press in Toronto last week, Comessotti said that’s what sets apart his best partners from the rest of the crew. To be sure, “there are a lot of folks who resell Check Point that don’t take commando mentality,” but they’re not the ones powering the growth (and seeing it themselves) that those top few partners are.

And there’s a lot of growth to be powered, according to Comessotti’s business update. For the first half of 2011, Check Point Canada enjoyed its biggest growth ever in maintenance and support, which includes its “annuity” products like IPS and application control. And while the volume of transactions is increasing, so too is the average value of those transactions – year-over-year, deals over $50,000 were up 30 per cent in the first half of 2011, he reported.

Some of the company’s success may be attributable to finding opportunities where others have not. For example, after putting a focus on the Atlantic Canada region last year, Eastern Canada is now the company’s fastest-growing region.

While Comessotti is calling for increasing loyalty and closeness from partners, especially at a time when he says many customers are trying to consolidate around fewer security vendors, he made it clear he’s willing to give in order to get.

He said the number one piece of feedback he has from resellers is that they’re “tired of manufacturers showing up at the potluck with just a fork,” Comessotti’s colourful way of explaining that VARs are seeing more and more pressure from their vendors to deliver more revenues, without the tools or supports to do it.

How’s Check Point responding to that challenge? Things get a little unclear there, as Comessotti put up a big “watch this space” that he’s “anticipating some tweaks” to the Check Point partner program that will enhance partner profitability. He also hinted that Check Point would be working to bring partners “new and unique ways of doing business.”

Check Point tends to check in (pardon the pun) with the tech media on about a quarterly basis, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long to find the details behind Comessotti’s suggestions.

The suggestion of future partner program tweaks and the desire to create commando teams aren’t the only things going on at Check Point these days.

Regional SE manager Kellman Meghu walked press through a stream of announcements that have some out of the Israel-based security vendor, including a new update of its software blade components for security that add URL filtering, SSL inspection and expanded data loss prevention options. On the hardware side, the company introduced a new data centre security application, the Check Point 21400, and what it’s calling the world’s fastest security gateway, the Check Point 61000, which can clock in at north of 1 Terabit of capacity.

The company has also introduced a new metric for security solutions, a measurement that Check Point calls SecurityPower Units, which rates a security solution on more than just raw throughput, but rather on how it performs with a variety of security tasks enabled, and with a 100-rule security policy in place.

According to Meghu, SecurityPower Units do a better job than other industry metrics of representing the total value of a security solution in terms of what actually matters the most to the end user.

“In all the work we do, we sometimes forget we’re actually trying to protect data,”