New proof-of-concept licenses, breach response licenses highlight revamped Netsurion Partner Program

Netsurion has also updated its partner portal, and unveiled a new partner referral program to encourage MSPs to refer their peers to them.

Guy Cunningham, channel chief at Netsurion

Netsurion, a managed security service provider which provides threat protection services for MSPs, has announced it has reworked its Netsurion Partner Program. It adds two types of new NFR licenses, Proof-of-Concept licenses to enable a ‘try before you buy’ partner presales strategy, and Breach Response licenses to enable the partner to better help a customer who is breached. They have also improved both their partner portal and their on-demand training resources, added a formal MDF program for their top partner tier, and introduced a new partner referral program designed to capitalize on the fact that MSPs are much more likely than other partner types to have a broader sense of community, which would encourage such referrals.

Netsurion’s present channel program was originally created in 2017, when the Netsurion program was integrated with one from EventTracker, a company they acquired the previous year. Netsurion used a hybrid model, and at that time,  most Netsurion business was direct, with only about 10% being channel.

“In 2017, if we did a deal through the channel it was more by accident,” said  Guy Cunningham, channel chief at Netsurion, who designed that 2017 program. “Now, on the EventTracker side, the channel brings in 60% of our revenue. The direct team tends to focus on larger customers although if a partner brings us one, we protect that opportunity for them.”

Cunningham said that the program enhancements are the kind of fine-tuning programs regularly should go through.

“It’s not so much changing the program as upgrading it,” he said. “Every program goes trough a relevelling process every several years – at least it should. The big push on this is we have seen a change in the cybersecurity threat landscape and are trying to empower our partners with more tools.”

Those tools begin with a pair of new Not-For-Resale [NFR] license sets. Proof-of-Concept licenses are a new pre-sales tool, while Breach Response licenses are to help customers when a breach takes place.

“We are making investments in partners through both of those NFR-no cost licenses.” Cunningham said. “The Proof of Concept licenses will enable partners to show customers the technology in action. We did not have these before.”

The Proof of Concept licenses, as a pre-sales tool, are limited in number to the number that would be deployed in a PoC, and the number depends on the partner’s tier in the program. Higher partner tiers can also deploy these licenses for a longer period of time.

The Breach Response licenses, on the other hand, are unlimited in number for all partners.

“We want to give partners tools to respond quickly if a customer is breached,” Cunningham said.

A new top tier, Diamond, has been added to the program.

“Historically, we had Gold and Platinum partners, but the growth in the programs and stratification made us want to implement a higher tier for larger partners,” Cunningham said. “We have a handful of Diamond partners., who are a mix of hosting providers, MSSPs, and traditional MSPs.” In addition to better tier discounts and more and improved PoC licenses, the Diamond partners are also eligible for a new structured MDF benefit.

“The Diamond partners will accrue MDF based on revenue,” Cunningham noted. “While we will accept MDF requests based on any partner, the Platinum and Gold are more ad hoc.”

Primary segmentation of the Netsurion partner tiers is based on revenue,  but to maintain benefits, they also have to maintain certification and also participate in marketing.

“We want Platinum partners to do one marketing event with us a year, and Diamond two events,” Cunningham said. Platinum partners are required to get two people certified, and Diamond partners three. Once they earn a tier, they have a year to complete the certification.”

On-demand training has been improved.

“There has always been some but we have added content and increased ability to track completion of those programs,” Cunningham indicated. “Now it’s tied to completion of the tiering.”

Collateral, educational assets for demand gen, and other forms of marketing material have also been updated.

The partner portal has been improved to better the user experience.

“The major enhancement is in the ordering process,” Cunningham said. “Over the course of the last couple of years, we have learned how to streamline that. It means customer onboarding is better. We capture more information up front and do more automation between when they order and when we deliver.”

Finally, a new partner referral program has been added.

“One of the unique things of the MSP space is that they are different from VARs in the way that they co-operate with each other,” Cunningham said. “VARs tend to compete with each other a lot, and don’t share a lot of information if they compete in areas with others. MSPs are different. The RMM and PSA vendors have helped cultivate a community, and the peer groups starting with HTG so long ago foster co-operation. We are trying to take advantage of that and encourage current partners to refer their peers to us.”