Meet the channel manager: Trend Micro

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This article appeared in the June 2015 issue of CRN magazine.

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Meet the channel manager: Trend Micro
Robin Marjason

Trend Micro ANZ channel and distribution director Robin Marjason had an extensive channel career in the UK before making Australia home in the past decade. After spending five years at Westcon, his challenge is to expand Trend Micro Australia from its traditional SMB channel into the enterprise market.

Journey

“I’ve been in various channel roles for over 25 years, covering enterprise, partner alliance, and distribution. My last role was as European alliance manager with Apple to help launch the accessories for their revamped iPod. 

“I joined Trend Micro in July last year, with one key objective: to build and execute a channel strategy to increase the medium and enterprise business.”

Channel transformation

“When I joined we had some great partners with some established relationships. But our engagement was quite immature – only really software licensing, very transactional. In the last 10 months we’ve tried to change that – to be more strategic [to our partners].

“We have some great products around cloud and data centre. We’re number one in server protection. We need to tell our partners about that, so they can sell those solutions. Consumer is a big part of our business, but the reason why I came here is the enterprise opportunity.”

Managed service providers

“We have an MSP program that we’ve had in place for about two years, and we’ve doubled our Australian revenue through that year-on-year. The reason for that is the flexible licensing model. We can license a solution for cloud, SaaS or on-premise – and that’s what an MSP wants, they don’t want to battle through different licensing solutions. We’re definitely investing in this space further, and our distributor Rhipe has done an incredible job for us.”

Partners

“Our business is all channel. There’s no value for us in a direct [sales] model. We’ve got around 50 focused partners across platinum, gold and silver. In addition to that we have in excess of 500 transactional bronze partners, predominantly serving the SMB market.

“We’re the global leaders in the SMB market. In March, we launched a ‘Switch and Win’ campaign that’s running till September – and our SMB partners have an opportunity to win a car.”

Cloud and data centres

“We’ve identified some growth areas in the market – the cloud is obviously one. We’re building out programs where we reward partners commercially for obtaining accreditations around our cloud and data centre offerings. The key thing is that we have a very diverse security portfolio and we need to understand our partners’ business to plug in the right solution for them. 

“The focus for us is around the strength of our alliance partnerships.
In Australia, we have very strong relationships with VMware, AWS and Microsoft. They get us and we get them. We want to build programs where their partners can attach Trend Micro solutions and build a more profitable business around that.”

Lessons learned

“If you asked me this a few years ago, I would’ve said ‘consistency is key’. But these days technology is so fluid, vendors need to be agile. They need to practice more diversity to achieve their objectives – it’s an interesting lesson to learn, and I’ve learnt it in the 10 months I’ve been at Trend Micro.”

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