One vendor for all your security needs
Barracuda Networks today is a security and storage company with over 150,000 customers around the world. This is largely thanks to their competitive channel programme and targeted solutions that its channel ecosystem is able to leverage when they go to market, around the world.
Barracuda Networks’ Senior Vice President of International Sales, Chris Ross said, “We are not just a security player or a storage player, but we have a full portfolio across these.
“This makes it easy for our partners to position us to their customers, as both these capabilities are offered by one vendor – Barracuda.”
A majority of Barracuda’s solutions are also delivered via hardware appliances, which makes their latest initiative very relevant and appealing for its channel ecosystem and customers. “When customers deploy our appliance, it would be replaced after four years, as long as they maintain their service subscription.
“It is a way of future-proofing their purchase,” Ross also pointed out. Ross was formerly the top sales head at ArcServe, a provider of backup and recovery software.
Barracuda’s extended cloud focus
But, there is another way that Barracuda helps to future-proof their customers’ investments.
One other advantage that Barracuda’s global channel ecosystem possesses, is Barracuda’s cloud connectivity and solutions that are supported by public clouds like vCloud Air, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Ross explained further that Barracuda has also extended its public cloud capabilities to hosted solutions like Microsoft’s Office 365 and OneDrive online storage. These cloud applications have on-premise versions, but as they move also to the cloud they still need to be backed up.
“So, we have a full solution for protecting that data, and we are the first to market with it,” said Ross.
A refreshed partner program
Since April last year, the company had refreshed their partner program at a global level. Ross said, “It is being rolled out worldwide, including in Asia.
“It’s our next-generation partner program, and we did some restructuring around the levels of partners – adding more levels, so that they have better access to what they have today… entry points have become more accessible.”
Ross also explained that there have been mechanical changes too like demo equipment now being available for partners to procure or buy at much lower cost.
“We have had great success because when customers get our product, they don’t usually want to give it back.
“The competitive pricing enables our partners to get more hardware to customers. If it works, it stays.”
Then there is Barracuda University, an online educational portal for partners to get trained and certified on Barracuda solutions. “They can learn at their own pace with video and presentations,” said Ross who also added what they have is a cooperative marketing programme because it is important for Barracuda to keep their partners feeling secured in the knowledge that their investments to develop sales is protected.
Ross highlighted the main reasons why partners should want to work with Barracuda. “The right technology is important and Barracuda is best-of-breed in all different areas of tech solutions.”
Relationships also matter, and for Ross there are two kinds – trust and commercial.
“Do our partners trust Barracuda to be reliable in supporting their offerings? How do our partners feel and do they trust us in terms of our support when something doesn’t work right? With us, you won’t get an automated IVR. You will always speak with us, and our goal is to make that world class.”
Then there is also the commercial relationship in terms of the discount structure, deal registrations and pricing for the right margins.
“We are always looking at how we can improve it, and value feedback from our partners,” Ross emphasised.
“I feel we got it right today. The refreshed program is well-accepted across our partner domain. And as we attract more partners, our offerings are more competitive and comprehensive. We are now growing our base at a fair pace.”
He also opined Barracuda is in a strong position in terms of all the resources need to support its channel. “We are channel-focused and we spend a lot of time making sure we get that right.”
One vendor for all your needs?
How receptive is the channel community when Barracuda’s Total Threat Protection (TTP) vision implies businesses having to streamline to being a single vendor environment?
Ross answered, “It all comes back to what customers need. Is the organisation resource-constrained? Are they looking for a comprehensive suite of technology that can cover all areas of data protection?
“If yes, then Barracuda has that. And the centralised management is the compelling piece for deploying our solutions.”
He pointed out the reality also that resellers would sell multiple solutions from multiple vendors. Despite this, Barracuda had crafted a unified and comprehensive solution like TTP because their customers asked for it.
“We didn’t craft it in a dark hole. Our resellers are pretty clued up about which technology their customers need.
“And in our segment of the market (small to medium sized business), these are requirements that are emerging – advanced persistent threats, distributed networks, more and more remote users, public cloud adoption – with only a small amount of resources to deal with this exponentially growing threat landscape!”