The conundrum that is channel programmes appears to have been solved by Check Point, which has eased its partners through a transition to a value-based model.
The vendor has wrestled with the problem of rewarding value rather than just volume and settled on using its discount structure as a way of identifying partners that were applying for help to open up new customers and vertical markets.
Nick Lowe, regional director for Northern Europe at Check Point, said the change in programme had not been without resistance, but it had been able to stand its ground and prove that some partners had not been able to add as much value as some of their peers.
"We have had some kick back, but value is king. We are being clear about what our value is. In the past people might have equated it with volume," he said.
Lowe added that resellers could not be expected to understand what a vendor's definition of value was unless it was spelt out clearly from the start of any revised programme.
Vendors have struggled in the past to reward value, attempting to use a number of devices, ranging from deal registration protection to specialist rewards, to make sure that smaller partners were not always eclipsed by the bigger, volume-churning dealers.
Carol Shallow, solutions consultant at i-Sentral Security, said that instead of vendors using discount to reward partners on volume, things were now being measured around training and market expertise.
"If you get more people trained up, you move up to levels like Platinum, and resellers are rewarded," she said.
Another source said that with web tools there was greater transparency and it was harder for
account managers to have their favourites and stack the rewards
in the direction of the larger partners.