Working with security customers and vendors

Hamish Soper, Check Point Software Technologies New Zealand country manager looks at strategies to create real value for customers when selling security.

The security landscape in New Zealand is constantly changing. With cyber criminal activity evolving and threats becoming more sophisticated, the multitude of new technologies offer additional entry points for potential security attacks which will pose greater challenges for those in the channel and their customers.

As we look toward 2014, we are likely to see cloud data becoming the new attack metric rather than targeted network attacks as more and more infrastructure and services are moved into the cloud.

Additionally, social media and mobile attacks will continue to grow as New Zealand businesses adopt these platforms for day to day business.

The primary focus for those in the channel is on value creation for customers, which is a goal achieved best through key market knowledge and efforts both by resellers and the security vendor’s sales team.

There are two simple things to keep in mind while maximising your business efforts in 2014.

Understand your (potential) customers

All too often, it can be difficult to pinpoint a customer’s specific security challenges. Unfortunately, many stretched IT departments can simply concentrate on day-to- day IT tactics and complications, meaning that even your customer (or prospective customer) doesn’t understand what they truly need for the real security issues at hand.

This may seem obvious, but the more you understand about your customers’ security requirements the better you can help them build and implement an effective security strategy.

Understanding the wider market landscape in which customers work is also important. Work closely with your security vendors and tap into their knowledge of the security landscape, the threats facing local organisations and the products within that scope.

Anticipate a long-term relationship with your customer and be proactive to get them set up with the security protections they need now and what they’ll need to keep in mind as their businesses continues to grow.

Utilise your resources

You’re not alone; and there are often more tools at your disposal than you may have thought. Security vendors rely on resellers to initiate, build and maintain relationships with customers.

Because of this, there is heavy investment on the vendor’s part to ensure that their reseller programme succeeds. Sales and technical resources can include training, sales enablement tools, unique promotions and new incentives.

By attending and participating in these regular training courses (online and classroom) your team will be kept up-to-date on the latest products as well as issues affecting the security industry.

These can both provide value for customers and help increase your profitability so be sure to set aside time and resources to take advantage of any programs offered.

Knowledge sharing and education are vital. By working closely with both your customers and the security vendors, you’ll find these partnerships will really strengthen your business.

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