Global cybersecurity technology company, Bitdefender has emphasised its commitment towards the Southern African channel and the subsequent growth of this all-important segment of the ICT marketplace.
“Bitdefender is a 100% channel orientated company and we endeavour to grow the business of both our subsidiaries and their channel partners throughout the various regions we operate in,” says Pablo Puig, Channel Director – Africa at Bitdefender.
“It is incredibly important to incentivise our Southern African channel partners with opportunities that will in turn grow their business. For example, if Bitdefender has a business opportunity we feed it into the channel immediately; in fact, all our opportunities go through our partners.”
“To expand market share, you have to in the mid-and long-term establish sustainable business and growing the channel is a crucial part of this approach,” he adds.
Christelle Fensham, recently appointed channel manager for Bitdefender at Black Castle Technologies, Bitdefender’s official country partner for consumer products, echoes Puig’s sentiment: “A key focus for us is to proactively grow the channel, targeting specific resellers that in turn expands our distributors’ business and feeds back into the channel. It is about fostering strong and sustainable relationships.”
Local know how
Bitdefender understands the importance of local expertise and the unique challenges and requirements each country bring. “There is no doubt that you need strong partners that operate daily in the market and offer the requisite skills to grow and establish a brand,” he says.
“As a company that first and foremost focuses on technology innovation it is impossible for us to become country experts; here we rely heavily on our channel partners.
“Also, you require marketing, PR and social media to create brand awareness and the only way to effectively do this is through local partners that understand the market. That is why it’s so important to us to find the right partners from the get-go that offer the expertise and the subsequent entrenched channel business experience.”
An important part of Bitdefender’s focus on developing the Southern African channel is training. “Most people can sell a box; however, the security software industry now requires solutions that are backed by a channel that offers entrenched technical expertise.
“Furthermore, skilled people become comfortable with a product and then automatically sell it with more confidence. What closes a deal is a good product supported by people that understand and sell its business and technical differentiators,” says Puig.
Fensham adds that a critical part of the Southern African channel programmes is upskilling all distributors and resellers. “The ongoing training of our channel partners is crucial; It’s not only about providing products but offering the tools and support to successfully sell it. Bitdefender is fully committed to upskilling the channel and our job is to drive this forward.
“Ultimately the channel can rest assured that Bitdefender and its local subsidiaries offer all the support, skills and training it requires to grow its security software business in a very competitive market,” she concludes.
Edited by Daniëlle Kruger
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