Elements providing support for resellers and distribution are available now, while additional support for professional services, technology partners, and managed services will roll out later this year.
Today, Skyhigh Security, which was the part of the old McAfee enterprise business that Symphony Technology spun out last year to focus on the Security Service Edge [SSE] business, announced the first components of a brand new partner program. Out of the gate, the program provides support for resellers and distributors, and some support for MSPs. The next components, which are already in the process of being designed, are a professional services partner program, a technology partner program, and a full program for MSPs and MSSPs.
Until now, Skyhigh had managed its partner ecosystem using elements of the old McAfee channel program. The new Skyhigh Security Altitude Partner Program is designed to be simpler than that older program, and to be consistent with what most partners expect from a program today – Simple, Predictable and Profitable.
“I did a lot of listening while putting this together, said Scott Goree, Vice President of Worldwide Channels, Skyhigh Security, who is now six months into his role. “Partners were told if something wasn’t simple, to come back to me and tell me why not. We partnered with Channel Mechanics to provide one platform for all enablement, so partners don’t have to go to 17 separate tools to get what they need.”
The new program has three tiers: Registered, Essential and Advanced, with training for them provided by Skydiver University, a new online sales certification training tool that is a key part of the program.
“Partners don’t need a decoder ring to figure out our tiering,” Goree said.
Goree noted that Skyhigh bears all the costs of training, and emphasized that it is designed to be easy and cost-effective for partners.
“Partners want their certifications easier, but if they means that I have to tell them I’m taking a SE from them for a week for training, they will not love me,” he said. “We can do this though by making it simple to click through for the seamless on-demand training that we give to our own staff. We provide them with ten hours of technical training the same way. We want to build that small army of SEs evangelizing our portfolio, and we don’t need to travel to do that.”
The program components for resellers and distributors are ready now, and the basic portal components, such as deal registration, are ready now to serve all types of partners.
“We want fewer more deeper relationships with trusted partners than we had in the past,” Goree said. “For breadth we have had partners with our trusted distributors. We count heavily on distribution. They are a key part of the big cycle of lifecyle and renewal, even as the landscape evolves.”
The more advanced components for other types of partners will come later.
The next brand will be a Professional Services partner program,
“Some partners love this,” Goree said. “This is margin-rich business. There are others who may not have technical expertise and we are building a situation where they can partner with another – not with our internal professional services team. Our strategy for that is to be partner led.”
The next ones on the agenda are a Technology Provider partner program, then an MSP program.
“The MSP program is for both MSPs and MSSP, although we have some managed service business today,” Goree said. “We are designing these programs to fit their needs and bring value. That’s what we are designing next.”
Profitability is addressed in larger part through the rebate system.
“We are addressing both front and back end margins,” Goree said. “If they trust us with their customer, we will provide exclusivity and 30 points on the front end. We also provide 15 points where we bring in the deal. There are also 15 points of discount advantage on the renewal.” There are also separate back end rebates, which are aligned to program tiers.”