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Training and certifications a key driver for channel

Training and certifications a key driver for channel


Prashant Menon, Channel Manager – UAE, Check Point Software Technologies, Middle East talks with Channel Post MEA about the inadequate skillsets in the channel and how the company is taking several initaitives to train partners enhance their skillsets

How does lack of sufficient skillsets effect the channel business?
Extensive lockdowns have led to changing consumer attitudes and a shift to online channels and partners across the GCC, focused on reaching out through online channels. Simultaneously, the lack of sufficient skillsets pushed the imagination of how Channel Leaders used to operate in the past. To excel, partners needed to scale up to be a trusted security advisor to the customer.

Continuous skill development, training and filling the knowledge gaps is an ongoing process which would keep the partners close to their customers and give them the desired results. Building skills and staying current with the latest is an ongoing process. Nurturing talent and empowering employees to actively develop throughout their tenure motivates and helps them to perform at their optimum levels.

In the entire channel ecosystem,who should take the prime responsibility for trainings?
Every stakeholder acts as a pure enabler when it comes to building skills and are part of the chain. Vendor provides the tools and are constantly innovating at that, while the Distributor works the logistics for efficient training delivery and this is today an important factor for any Vendor in the market with its offering for sustained revenue growth. Intent to acquire knowledge when it comes to reseller is the key while the agility, training model and engine to impart knowledge is an important deliverable for any vendor today. Distributor would be very handy when it comes to handling the logistics aspect and help in maximizing the reach.

In your expereince are channel partners keen to upskill through training progammes?
Businesses that implement an effective, efficient and business-focused strategy significantly outperform their peers. This is something very symbolic to strategic partners. They are keen on bringing a future-focused workforce perspective, flexibly and rapidly developing workforce skills and capabilities to match emerging opportunities. The channel leaders are also improvising on their social skills for reaching out to resellers, use online channels to enable, guide and grow their reseller business. Check Point Software has a strong enablement, training and certification program for partners to acquire the necessary skill sets to address the modern cyber security challenges faced by organizations which is extensively leveraged by our channel partners.

In your view, how can training and certifications enable partners retain their customers?
Training and certifications have been a key driver for most businesses and an important strategy to stay relevant. With constant skill development, training and bridging the knowledge gaps, partners can be in proximity with their customers and give them the desired outcomes. This empowers partners to develop closer long-term relationships with customers, achieve higher-value sales and differentiate themselves from the competition by increasing their value to customers. Check Point Software extends its support to partners who need our assistance with end customer engagements in the consulting, design, build and execution phases to ensure smooth operations through some of the global initiatives that we have in place to help address the global cyber-skills shortage.

What are the important elements to consider while creating partner training strategies?
Being innovative and agile is of core significance, how swiftly and effectively the channel teams can get their messaging passed on to the resellers and leverage their partner initiatives and opportunities would help in developing their sales pipeline and determine the growth in business in this new normal. Intent to acquire knowledge when it comes to reseller is the key and the agility, training model and engine to impart knowledge is an important deliverable for any vendor today. Developing innovate ways to reach out to customers by staying updated on technologies with new e-learning mechanism to provide the best value and recognizing the tools needed by the partners to succeed are also some of the key elements that should considered while creating a partner training strategy.

What are the different ways in which a partner can develop his skillset?
As partners are settling into the reality of the current state of the new normal, they need to change their focus from ad-hoc arrangements to a fresh approach to the organizational strategy.

Providing consistent training, needs for simplifying messaging, breaking language barriers, increased virtual training needs due to the new normal are some of the aspects that need to be addressed. To help partners develop their skillsets, Check Point Software has launched several channel initiatives to help them leverage its market leading solutions and expand the customer reach.

The Check Point Software Partner Growth Program which is one such initiative that is developed in close consultation with many partners to encourage closer alignment with our channel teams while implementing best practices, speed, agility and customer value. Last year, Check Point Software also launched Check Point Mind, a knowledge training portal in collaboration with over 200 of the world’s most recognized training partners, with an aim to equip anyone from students to c-level executives with cybersecurity knowledge and skills to help meet the global demand for more cybersecurity professionals.




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