Amnon Bar-Lev, vice president of global field operations at Tel Aviv-based Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., recently visited Boston as he continued his tour across the country to meet the company's various channel partners.
In this edition of Patrolling the Channel, Bar-Lev sat down with the SearchSecurityChannel.com team and talked about the basics of the Check Point partner program, the impact of Check Point's acquisitions on channel strategy, the biggest problems facing today's partners, and the challenges of transferring knowledge to solution providers and resellers that implement Check Point products.
Below, read excerpts of our interview with Amnon Bar-Lev. Listen to the full podcast at the bottom of the page.
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On being a "platinum" partner in Check Point's PureAdvantage program:
"It's not only about selling more. It's about making sure that a lot of people will be educated on Check Point. My personal belief is that the most important thing from partners is to have enough knowledge. Knowledge is what sells. People don't sell what they don't know..."
On where partners need the most assistance from Check Point:
"Are you familiar with this game of kids standing in line and one tells a story to the other, and then he tells it to the other, and he tells it to the other, and the story at the end is totally different from the one at the beginning? The same thing happens when I'm sending the messaging to my reps, and they tell it to the partners, and they tell it to the partner reps, and the partner reps tell it to the customers. Usually, it's a long way of communication, and we need this flow of knowledge and information to be accurate. The biggest thing is to give them more and more tools of knowledge. It could be technical, but it's not only technical knowledge. It's also key selling points, and how to compete sometimes in different spaces and what's the value that the customer is getting."
On how Check Point acquisitions impacted the channel strategy:
"Pointsec was a good example. It was a totally different area, still security, but full disk encryption is totally different than firewall and network security...A lot of partners at the time didn't play in the endpoint space at all, so for them, it wasn't easy, from one side. From the other side, it was a great opportunity, because the endpoint security market is the opposite side of the network security side, so right now, you open the rest of the market for them to be much bigger...It allows our partners to gain much more because they can go to these customers and offer much more than they offered before."
On partners' top challenges:
"Sometimes you want your people to focus not on their major comfort zone. They need to go outside of their comfort zone and start offering endpoint, and go outside of their comfort zone, which is network security or firewall appliances, and go out and sell DLP."