Trend Micro revamps global channel program

Partha Panda, vice president of channel sales, Trend Micro

Partha Panda, vice president of channel sales, Trend Micro

Dallas-based Trend Micro is revamping its global channel program, normalizing the systems and support provided to partners in its various operating regions. The intent is to make it easier, predictable and profitable to do business with the security software and services vendor.

On the surface, the new Trend Micro Partner Program doesn’t look any different from the standard channel program structure, operations and benefits. It has all the usual elements, such as benefit tiers based on partner performance, deal registration, education and training, certifications, and sales support.

While structurally it’s not much different than the standard mold, the Trend Micro program has numerous elements that make the channel operations more consistent around the world, and makes greater use of partner performance and capabilities as a means for segmenting benefits and support.

The Trend Micro program is still heavily aligned with the security engineering roots of the company. Partha Panda, vice president of global channels and strategic alliances, tells Channelnomics that Trend Micro is going to great lengths to make enablement materials, training and certifications of its various network, endpoint and cloud products more readily available.

However, Trend Micro is also cognizant that its legacy engineering-first focus and lack of marketing has made the company’s products a tough sell. Solution providers have long noted that Trend Micro makes good products that no one knows or cares about. It’s this reason that Trend Micro has made marketing and communications a pillar of its new channel structure. It’s providing partners with tools and resources for better explaining the value of its products to the end market.

“We are not the same company we were 10 years ago, and partners need to hear that,” Panda said. “Trend Micro is still perceived as an antivirus company. Many people and companies don’t know that we we’re the leader in cloud security. We have to change that.”

Certifications will remain a key measure in the Trend Micro program. However, Trend Micro is using performance and performance potential as a means for segmenting and supporting partners. In the new program, Trend Micro is taking a holistic approach to partner relationships, aligning resources and rewards to solution providers’ vertical, technical and geographic capabilities. The intent is for Trend Micro to become more targeted in its engagements.

And Trend Micro is exposing more of its alliance relationships with companies such as IBM, Amazon Web Services, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and VMware, by offering partners integrated bundles that more readily address customer needs.

The reorganization of the Trend Micro Partner Program is expected to stimulate sales over the next 18 months. Program elements will be rolled out between now and the first quarter of 2015. While Trend Micro continues as a well-performing company, it’s under pressure to accelerate growth. Recently, IBM overtook Trend Micro as the third largest security software vendor behind Symantec and Intel Security (formerly McAfee).

Panda believes the program changes, the introduction of new tools and support, and greater focus on targeted engagements will stimulate the Trend Micro channel and result in higher returns.

This article originally appeared on Channelnomics.