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Trend Micro Integrates Partners Into AWS Marketplace

Trend Micro has updated its channel program to drive the recruitment of partners with a deep understanding of how Amazon Web Services infrastructure is configured.

Trend Micro has updated its channel program to drive the recruitment of partners with a deep understanding of how Amazon Web Services infrastructure is configured.

The Tokyo-based platform security giant said it’s critical the channel be incented for getting customers to transact via the AWS Marketplace, said Louise McEvoy, vice president of U.S. channels. McEvoy had noticed their customers were going around the partners and buying direct off the AWS Marketplace, prompting a sit-down with AWS to figure out how partners can be rewarded for Marketplace sales.

“There are a lot of partners who are afraid of the Marketplace because they can go direct and they can lose their end customers,” McEvoy told CRN. “I think partners have to reinvent themselves. There are many, many opportunities with Marketplace and cloud, but partners cannot have that old-school mindset that they’re just going to show up once a year and try and get the business.”

[Related: Trend Micro Takes On Palo Alto Networks With Cloud Conformity Buy]

The discussions with AWS led to Trend Micro being a launch partner in the Consulting Partner Private Offers (CPPO) program, which allows partners to become the seller of record for any transaction that occurs through the AWS Marketplace over a one, two, or three-year period, McEvoy said. Channel partners receive discounts between 10 points to 35 points on sales going through the AWS Marketplace.

Purchasing through a solution provider rather than directly from the AWS Marketplace simplifies invoicing for customers, provides access to complementary partner-delivered services, and offers the opportunity for additional discount, according to McEvoy. Solution providers participating in AWS’ CPPO program have typically been partners Trend Micro was already working with, McEvoy said.

“We’ve seen this evolution of the customer’s buying behavior and we need to map to how they’re buying,” McEvoy said. “And we are very aware that we need to bring our partners into this deal. We don’t want them being cut out, which is why we’re very tightly aligned with AWS to make sure that they brought this channel model into their purview as well.”

Trend Micro additionally wants to recruit AWS Well-Architected (WAR) Partners to provide customers with access to skills that traditional resellers don’t have, McEvoy said. WAR partners deeply understand AWS’ underlying infrastructure as well as DevOps and containers and can therefore spot anything from malware to exposed S3 buckets to unsecured databases, according to McEvoy.

“Customers are deploying in different ways and we need to answer their call,” McEvoy said. “We need to have a program that you know addresses what our customers are looking for.

The company has already onboarded and enabled six WAR partners, and given that AWS has 215 WAR partners in the United States, Trend Micro is looking to recruit a lot more WAR partners into the mix. WAR partners are very interested in being part of Trend Micro’s roadmap and enablement process and are less concerned about things like back-end rebates, deal registration and tiering, McEvoy said.

AWS WAR partner Kinect Consulting started working with Trend Micro in July 2020, and the company has been impressed by the simplicity of Trend Micro’s enablement resources as well as the ease of collaborating with other third-party vendors, according to Kevin Mead, VP of business development. Trend Micro’s AWS-focused team has made it easy for all parties to work together effectively, he said.

Trend Micro’s partner program enables Kinect to help secure the customer’s assets, which Mead said is the first requirement when migrating a client to the cloud. Going forward, Mead said he’d like to see continued growth from Trend Micro in building cross-company relationships between Kinect and the other vendors the company partners with.

“We have a nice incentive from AWS and Trend to transact through the Marketplace,” Mead told CRN. “The people [at Trend Micro] that created and run the program have their heads and their hearts in the right place.”

Outside of the cloud, McEvoy said Trend Micro has adjusted its discount structure to reward partners who are hunting new business. Going forward, all Trend Micro will get a standard 30 percent discount regardless of tier, while the price break for registering a deal will be 10 percent for bronze partners, 15 percent for silver partners, 30 percent for gold partners, and 35 percent for platinum partners, she said.

“[Too many high-level partners] were acting like procurement partners,” McEvoy said. “We want that we want them to be value add, and we’ll reward them for that … It’s all about hunting.”

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