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Channel Satisfaction Survey 2014: Cyberoam is the king of 'Security Hardware'

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DQC News Bureau
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Cyberoam staved off competition from a host of other vendors and emerged as the popular choice amongst a majority of channel partners. It was in the after-sales support and commercial terms that Cyberoam managed to bag heavy points; even more creditable was the fact that Cyberoam recovered lost grounds on marketing support where it lost points last year. Cyberoam is also reported to have had one of the best technical teams and grievance addressal system in place in hardware security.

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Cyberoam gained favorable reviews in each of the sub-categories under product quality (except user-friendliness of the product) followed closely by categories under after-sales support (barring promptness in stock replacement and proactive service approach).

Fortinet bagged the second slot gaining positive reviews with its back-end schemes and incentive programs alongwith a healthy channel relationship management strategy. Above all, Fortinet was ranked second in terms of training programs conducted for partners, certification and communications sent out to channels.

Securing the profits and margins for its channel partners has always been a core focus for the company and this year too, Fortinet's core concern has been partner margins which helped it push up its scores. It has also invested heavily in local infrastructure and personnel to provide level 2 and 3 after-sales technical support.

Last year, Juniper seems to have emerged as the channel's favorite out of nowhere (Juniper was not among the Top 5 in 2012 and 2011). Even this year, many partners believed that Juniper's products are not just superior to competition in quality customer review offering value for money but are also diverse and conforms to specifications and codes.

Besides, user-experience was said to be the highest for Juniper. The partner portal also garnered favourable reviews and was stated to be rich in marketing and sales tools. However, it scored very low on after sales, commercial terms and marketing support as opposed to Cyberoam and Fortinet; therefore it lost out on the overall terms.

For Cisco, although its score has improved by huge margins as compared to the previous survey has again failed to impress its channel partners with online support becoming the most important concern. Its scores for marketing support has improved which was one of the leading factors why channel partners rated the company higher. Also, the technological leadership issue which dragged the company down has improved and the company has managed to get into the good-books of the channel partners; yet it needs to take its scores seriously as 2 back-to-back low scores has affected its standing in the channels.

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