Trend Micro plans programme launch

Trend Micro’s fully-fledged partner programme will be launched in the Middle East during the third quarter of 2004. With a local training facility being put in place at DIC, Trend Micro is getting ready to launch the scheme that is already in use across Europe.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  June 10, 2004

Trend Micro’s fully-fledged formal partner programme will be launched in the Middle East during the third quarter of 2004. With a local training facility now in place, Trend Micro is ready to launch the scheme that is already in use across Europe. The antivirus and internet content security software vendor is also looking to strengthen resellers’ technical skills and extend its reach into the SMB sector. “Trend Micro’s EMEA partner programme will be launched in the Middle East during the third quarter of 2004,” confirmed Justin Doo, managing director, Trend Micro Middle East and Africa (MEA). “The programme splits the channel into three categories: premier partners, authorised partners and ordinary resellers wishing to sell Trend Micro. We held off launching the programme in the Middle East because we needed the local training facilities in place to certify partners.” Trend Micro has announced plans to establish an on-site training centre and demonstration laboratory at its Middle East headquarters in Dubai Internet City (DIC). The facility has a dual purpose: to certify and educate resellers, and to demonstrate Trend Micro solutions to potential customers. The formal partner programme is designed to foster even deeper relationships between Trend Micro and its enterprise-focused channel partners. “At an enterprise level, the programme helps to offer margin protection and margin control,” explains Doo. “Enterprise partners selling complex solutions need to know that they are getting a return on investment from the relationship. Launching this programme requires a significant amount of work to build the web presence, register partners, put information online and set up passwords and access levels.” As well as building closer links to enterprise partners, Trend Micro is committed to widening its market reach in the SMB space. “To really drive forward at the SMB level, we need SMB-focused resellers,” says Doo. “We just started a campaign with OnLine Distribution, our GCC distribution partner, to build sales through their SMB-focused 3Com channel customers.” With OnLine Distribution providing a range of value-add services for Trend Micro including logistics expertise, holding stock, providing channel credit and licencing, Trend Micro remains committed to a two-tier distribution model. “At the moment our main focus is on the GCC but we are looking at opportunities in markets like Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Libya,” says Doo. “The decision on whether or not we need additional distributors will be based on local skill sets. We do not believe in over distribution because it just creates a price war.” At an SMB level, Trend Micro has added 14 new resellers in the past two-and-a-half months and is working hard to incentivise the channel sales force. Prizes are offered through OnLine Distribution for the best-performing partner during a set period. These schemes aim to increase resellers’ commitment to selling Trend Micro product. “These schemes give the resellers something to aim for,” explains Doo. “Most of the channel salesmen targeting the SMB end-user are revenue remunerated. Clever companies tie remuneration into revenue and margins. If you have 60 resellers all with the same profile, same products and same overheads, it is difficult to find the value-add. When you have a maverick salesman cutting price to the bone and everyone is on the same discount structure, it is hard to get any commitment from the sales guys — especially those that are margin remunerated.” Trend Micro aims to minimize these issues in its SMB channel by not signing up everybody in sight and focusing on those partners prepared to invest in training and show genuine commitment.

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