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Kris Hagerman, Sophos CEO since September 2012, continues to change the company's relationship with the channel. Currently a 100% channel-led company, Sophos today announced the MSP Connect Program, the latest addition to the company's Sophos Partner Program.
Managed service providers (MSPs) are now able to access the Sophos Central partner portal, upgraded about a year ago, to access the cloud-based partner dashboard from where they can manage all of a customer's Sophos offerings as well as integrate with third-party professional services automation (PSA) software and remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools.
"What we want to do is help MSPs leverage all of the Sophos products and services both on the network and endpoint side in order to become that virtual CIO to the small and midsize business customer," said Scott Barlow, vice president, global MSP at Sophos, who added that the partner dashboard will allow partners to respond to customer incidents faster.
A new feature of the Sophos partner dashboard is the ability for partners to log in and create a 30-day, on-demand trial for a customer, and then convert the trial to a paying customer either on a monthly basis or on a term basis, as was the only option previously available.
With the new MSP Connect Program the vendor is focused on three things: helping MSPs increase their revenue, lowering their costs and increasing operational efficiency, according to Barlow.
Scott Barlowvice president, global MSP, Sophos
The Sophos Central dashboard is designed to let MSPs view their customer accounts as well as view whitespace opportunity to up-sell and cross-sell security services, and add services into their menu of offerings. The dashboard also allows partners to do monthly aggregate billing, in arrears, through Flex billing which includes a dedicated technical account manager.
MSPs that rely on Sophos for multiple security offerings, as opposed to using multiple security vendor offerings for their customers, can expect to see reduced administrative costs, Barlow said.
The on-demand configuration capability on the dashboard and the integration with PSA software and RMM tools are designed to help partners increase operational efficiencies.
"The real benefit to MSPs here is the ability to log into the Sophos portal and manage the firewall, the end points, the mobile devices, the wireless access points, the email and the Web, all through that single pane of glass," Barlow said.
Sophos has about 3,000 partners in the U.S. and the region represents about 32.7% of global billings for Sophos for the company's December-ended third quarter, according to the company.
The security vendor is interested in growing the number of MSP partners globally.
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