Vormetric looks to spur big jump in partner sales with new channel program

Mike Coffield, vice president of worldwide channels at Vormetric

Mike Coffield, vice president of worldwide channels at Vormetric

San Jose-based security vendor Vormetric, which focuses on compliance and data breach protection in the enterprise through data-at-rest encryption and access control solutions, has launched a channel program. It is part of the company’s plan to drive a much higher percentage of its sales through partners.

Vormetric is an established player in the security space, in business since 2001, and with OEM partners like IBM and Symantec, but its’ emphasis on the channel is fairly recent.

“I came here three years ago to build a channel, and we really started to build it out then,” said Mike Coffield, Vormetric’s VP of Worldwide Channels. “We had a few partners reselling before that, but they had been brought in to close deals. There was no partner program, no infrastructure, no consistency in contracts and discounts.”

Coffield said his initial goal was to build consistency first and foremost, and at that time they established a single tier program, recruited some key partners, and got rid of some that had not been successful. The amount of channel business grew steadily as a result. In 2011, Vormetric did 17% of its’ business through the channel. In 2012, it increased to 25%, and in 2013, to 33%.

“This year, we expect the channel business will really accelerate because of the change in the go-to-market model, and we expect 70% of our business will be through partners by the end of the year,” he said.

Coffield said the objective is to develop a focused channel that isn’t huge in numbers.

“We don’t partner with everybody, and we don’t need thousands of partners,” he said. “We want the right kind of partners, who are security or storage focused. We have a handful of national partners, who  help us drive bigger deals, but not typically that many deals. Our regional players are more entrenched in their area, and they do smaller deals but on a more regular basis. We do our due diligence with potential partners and see if there’s a fit for us.”

The new program has three tiers — Platinum, Gold, and Associate – with the higher tiers getting increased margins as well as enhanced marketing and sales assistance. Coffield said that most of their focus is on that top tier of partners. He also said that their entire sales motion has been overhauled to put the channel at the center of Vormetric’s go-to-market model.

“With the exception of some named accounts, the remainder of the opportunities are worked with partners, so our field sales aren’t doing direct outside and competing with them,” Coffield said. “Instead our reps are now compensated for working with partners.” In addition to this assistance from Vormetric Regional Sales Managers, the company provides partners with leads.

“We use a deep margin approach, where the discount doesn’t change if the value of the deal goes up or down,” Coffield said. “That means there is no haggling in the field. Partners also like this because it’s easy.”

The company is also launching Vormetric University, which provides comprehensive support and training around sales of Vormetric products. There is also a portal, with single-point-of-contact access to deal registration, deal tracking and collateral information.

“We think we are developing a pretty solid support mechanism for our partners,” Coffield said. “We think we have some unique components that will excite some companies to partner with us.”

This article originally appeared on eChannelLine.com.