Kaspersky Lab has a long history of working with the channel community, and has recently undertaken a series of channel initiatives for incentivising its partners, says Altaf Halde, Managing Director of Kaspersky Lab (South Asia)
Q. What has been Kaspersky Lab’s focus for the Indian market?
When we started our direct operations in India, we were able to get a strong footprint in the consumer business segment. Once the consumer business partners & users were able to see the value of Kaspersky solutions, then rest all fell into place. We then created a new team & a new strategy to create an impact in the SMB segment. We are happy to inform you that based on our market intelligence & feedback from partners, we were able to move into the TOP 3 security vendors in the SMB space. Thereafter, we introduced a host of services and solutions targeted to the enterprise segment. We are happy to say that we have now increased our inroads in the enterprise segment, with specific focus on the BFSI, IT& ITES segment as the major contributor. In parallel, we have also started focus on Industrial Cyber security solutions which comes under Operation Technology (OT).
Q. With constantly changing market dynamics, how has the company re-looked at its channel strategy?
The channel servicing the business segments of Consumer, SMB & Enterprise are very well segregated within the company framework. The need / requirement for each of these partners are different to each other. When it comes to consumer business, the channel wants schemes as well as help to sell out the products to the end customer. Whereas when it comes to Enterprise, the channels need very specialised handholding and expert level of service. We have a strong partner portal for our b2b business partners. We at Kaspersky Lab, have implemented the channel strategy based on the category of the partners.
Q. What sort of training / skill upgradation do you encourage for your channel partners?
We at Kaspersky Lab believe that the security is not a destination but, it’s a journey. In today’s world the cyber threats landscape is changing every minute. It is very natural that leading IT Security providers like Kaspersky, come out with new technologies and solutions to counter this growing menace. This in turn means that the partners who promote our solutions as well as support our customers are aware of these new technologies. We have a very strong content training portal that offers online training and certification for our partners. Alongwith the online resources, we also conduct regular in-classroom trainings for our partners to get them scaled upto addressing the market.
Q. Can you share your views on channel profitability?
Channels are one of our pillars responsible for our success in the region. Besides product margins, we ensure that our qualified partners also earn on services and technical support when they sell our solutions to customers. We ensure that we have a long- term relationship with the customer accounts so that the partnership for the channel and the customers both become profitable for each other.
Q. What are the unique channel partner initiatives taken?
We have undertaken many initiatives based on the channel business segment. We regularly conduct schemes for our B2C channels. For our B2B channel partners we have Kaspersky Sales Army & Kaspersky Support Army. After approval from the owners of the respective channel companies, we allow sales, presales and technical team members to get enrolled in the respective Army. Once they enrol, they get incentives for every certification, POC’s conducted, sales done etc. We have seen this as very important part of incentivising our partners. This stems from the fact that we want not only the partner organisations to benefit but also the foot soldiers who actually sell and support our solutions in the market place.