by CIO Staff

Microsoft Offers Commission to Security Partners

Jul 13, 20063 mins

In an effort to sell more security products through its partner channel, Microsoft this week at its annual partner conference unveiled a program that gives commission to partners for influencing the sale of such products.

The Security Software Advisor Program enables partners that encourage customers to buy certain Microsoft security products to earn 20 percent of the sale of those products from the vendor after the deal is complete, said Steve Brown, director of product management for the security, access and solutions division at Microsoft.

To qualify for the program, a partner must be in the Microsoft Partner Program and be a certified member of Microsoft’s security competency program or be eligible for security competency status, he said. The company also could be a former partner of Sybari Software that came to Microsoft’s program when the vendor bought Sybari, Brown said. A third way a partner can qualify for the program would be if the company is a top-tier member of the partner program of another security vendor, such as Symantec, he added.

To receive their payment from Microsoft, qualifying partners can register sales of security products online for Microsoft security product sales they’ve made from July 1 onward, Brown said.

Existing products included in the program are Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server and Microsoft’s Antigen antivirus line, he said. Future products that will be included in the program once they are available are Forefront Client Security, which will deliver antivirus protection across business desktops, laptops and server operating systems, and any future products being developed for the Forefront line, Brown said.

Microsoft rebranded its security portfolio under the Forefront moniker at its Tech Ed conference in Boston several weeks ago. Forefront Client Security is expected to be available next year.

In addition to the Security Software Advisor Program, Microsoft at its partner conference introduced a promotional package of security software that partners can offer to customers at a 10 percent discount, Brown said.

The Microsoft Branch Infrastructure Promotion includes a bundle of Windows Server 2003 R2, ISA Server 2004, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 and a System Center System Management license. Previously, customers would have had to buy each product separately for a cost of about US$2,200, Brown said. The promotional price is $2,000.

The package is available now and will be offered indefinitely, Brown said.

-Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)

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