80 percent of customers prefer vendors that provide training and education

Vendors are being called upon to provide greater education and training to resellers and distributors, new research from Kaspersky has shown.

The research said that delivering better education and training to partners should not be underestimated by vendors – qualified by the fact that 86 percent of resellers and distributors say it is important they receive guidance from the vendors on the products they are selling.

The survey, undertaken with 150 UK resellers and distributors within the channel, also highlighted that 79 percent of resellers and distributors said they prefer to work with vendors that provide education and training. Over a quarter (28 percent) said the traits they most want to see in vendors is education and training on their technology solutions, as well as the tailoring of solutions and products for clients’ specific business needs.

The need for education is parallel to new advances in technology that improve daily business practices, productivity and security – to help combat rising business cybersecurity threats. In fact, employees are often the primary targets for hackers looking to infiltrate critical business systems, as they hold vast amounts of data, including extensive customer information. Half of businesses have even admitted that employees are their biggest weakness in IT security.

Andy Bogdan, head of UK SMB channel at Kaspersky, said: “It is clear that vendors must change the way they are operating, to stay in line with the evolution of the channel and partner demands. The vendors have the know-how, industry expertise and resources to become real thought leaders in the channel, and that is what their partners want – and need – to receive from them. The channel is calling out for education and empowerment, and vendors must respond appropriately – especially given the heightened cyberthreat landscape.”

The need for resellers and distributors to have access to industry knowledge, education and training was echoed in a recent partnership announcement from distributor Infinigate – a commercial move that was made entirely around resulting access to a wealth of cybersecurity expertise that its clients can leverage, and in empowering its service providers.

Kaspersky’s research also confirmed that possessing greater knowledge and education in the cybersecurity space, and on the products they are selling, will  benefit resellers and distributors’ bottom lines. More than 71 percent said that free training, provided by vendors, enables them to sell cybersecurity solutions and products more effectively to end users. In addition, 60 percent of the respondents agreed vendors can help increase sales by providing further education.

Bogdan added: “No longer do resellers and distributors simply go out and sell a vendor’s products; increasingly, they need to be an authority of the subject themselves, and advise the businesses they are working with. At Kaspersky we are evolving our offerings, to be even more insightful and informative, and empower the resellers and distributors we work with to be more effective at what they do.”