COVID 19 has influenced every business. Lockdown was forced upon us. No one was really prepared – even not the OEMs. The common questions coming from the CIOs and CISOs are extension of renewal due date or slashing of AMC pricing or even renegotiation of pricing. The channel partners are in a tight spot how to tackle this situation amid debilitating business demands.
Sunil Sharma, Managing Director- Sales, Sophos, said, “Our team was always on the road and prepared to work from anywhere with our laptop and phone in our hands. Every application of ours is in cloud so that we can access any application. Five years back, our company became proactive in launching cloud first initiative – that decision of our CEO is yielding good results now.”
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“During tough times, our motto is to help our customers and partners.”
Managing Director- Sales,
Sophos products are available in both private and public cloud. For example, Sophos Firewall is available in AWS. Product like Sophos Central Intercept X Advanced is also available on Azure and AWS.
Sunil said, “No one has ever seen this nor ever talked about this earlier. But we are getting prepared and ready for this. If you ask me about my daily schedule, I am getting ready either at 8:30 or 9:00 as my meeting starts at this time of time. I do meetings with my partners and their sales reps.”
Sophos has been conducting webinars with its partners to make them aware of its products and the plan around next 90 days. He added, “I tell my partners to get ready for next 90 days. After 90 days if there is any plan that can be changed but the next 90 days is very challenging from business perspective.”
The company is relaunching the products virtually which were launched during Jan – Feb 2020. Partners are taking interest in it as 1000s of people are attending Sophos each day.
Sunil maintained, “We have to be prepared for the worst. We are doing reviews continuously, enabling the partners and their sales and technical people. We are also getting our internal sales and technical team enabled and certified.”
Sophos is educating customers on latest hacking and its patterns by running an online event called ‘Break a Hackers’ Heart’. This is a virtual series where the company invites the customers and trains them for two hours. It followed by quiz in order to make the event interactive.
Apart from this, Sophos is also helping the customers who were not really prepared for the situation and could not gather their official computing platform. Sunil said, “Those customers who wanted to use their personal computer/laptop, we provided them Sophos Home Premium free. Similarly, customers who wanted Firewalls and other hardware-based security appliances, we enabled them with virtual products free for 90 days.”
Besides, Sophos is also continuing to do license renewals through its partners and offering solutions to the customers to replace other brands remotely.
Understanding the personal situation of the partners, another unique program Sophos is running called ‘Happiness Engineering Program’. Sunil added, “We have already run five series of this webinar for our partners. we understand that people are under stress and have different working atmosphere.”
If that is not enough, Sophos is also organizing events for its partners’ sales resources to train them on how they should speak to the customers in terms of being supportive.
Sunil is of opinion that for most of the customers there would be a major change in technology adoption patter post Covid 19. There would be unprecedented jump in the demand for Cloud infra and Cloud security. He concluded: “During tough times, our motto is to help our customers and partners.”