One of the philosophies that I really appreciated out of former Intel Chairman and CEO Andrew Grove when he was still active was his staunch belief that investments in the future should not be sacrificed for the short-term good of a company’s stock price. This is not something that many high-tech vendors usually pay much attention to when the economy is all whacked out (like right now), so it’s refreshing when I hear about a company that subscribes to that notion, especially when the investments are focused on solidifying and supporting its channel relationships.
At its partner conference earlier this month in San Diego, Websense talked about a number of investments (technology and otherwise) that will color its program and give VARs more reason to consider focusing on its program versus competitors. (I wasn’t there, but I spent some time chatting up David Roberts, senior vice president for the Americas.)
Two highlights include changes to the Websense deal registration (more margin on standard and non-standard new business deals) and a new channel partner locator that will help prospects seek out authorized Websense resellers or integrators via a new online application. Both are supposed to go live in February.
The thing that has me most tickled, though, is a new software tool that helps partners track when subscriptions and licenses are up for renewal. The Websense Online Renewal Center gives VARs and resellers a way to more proactively track when contracts are up in accounts that have 50 or few users. They can set alarms that will trigger when the account is 90 days, 60 days or 30 days out. The tool then lets resellers act on this information, potentially keeping more renewal revenue in their own pocket. Which is definitely a place where Websense differs from many of its competitors, who have few qualms about snapping up that opportunity in a direct deal. This thing is supposed to go live before the end of the month (it may be live right now but I’m not one of the 1,200 Websense partners who have at least one deal up before the end of this year and who could use this thing immediately).
Stuff like this makes it a little easier for a channel partner to say “yes” when a channel field representative comes knocking with a new partner contract or asks for a little more attention or loyalty out of the sales team, don’t you think?
Stay tuned for exciting new technology out of Websense in the early spring, related to cloud computing. This Web page will give you a preview of things to come.