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Avabet receives Sophos Platinum status partner level

Avanet is now a Sophos Platinum Partner

After three years, we have now reached the top step of the podium. How did it come about? We turn back the wheel of time once again and tell you about our most important milestones from our diary. Yes, we write diary, but we call it “timeline” because it sounds cooler. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our history

2012

Our professional adventure started on 12.12.2012 with the foundation of Avanet GmbH. In the meantime, we have converted our GmbH into an AG.

2013

We were already able to implement our first projects with the Sophos UTM, which soon brought us a meeting with the partner supervisor of our distributor at the time (Dieter). Dieter, who now works directly at Sophos, became aware of us back when we were still a “nobody” in the Sophos landscape. He took the time to explain Sophos’s partner program to us in more detail. It turned out that, thanks to Astaro’s existing expertise and certifications, we already met the requirements for “Sophos Silver Status”. The “Silver Status” used to be the lowest level (now Authorized) and the hurdle for us to reach it was only to submit the appropriate web form. But without Dieter, who at that time awakened something in us and showed us what we could achieve with Sophos, we probably wouldn’t have registered so quickly.

@Dieter: Thanks a lot!

2014

The projects became more and we decided to make Security a main part of Avanet. Previously, we had always seen it as an add-on product after the installation of an IT environment. The Sophos firewall enabled us to additionally equip the established work environments with VPN and wireless and, of course, we were also able to fulfill the wishes to also work from home.

From then on, everyone who was interested in a Sophos product was our potential customer. In order to address them, we had the idea to present the most important Sophos products on our website with a short but good product description incl. a description of the product. prices as a purchase form. This early, very simplified form of our current Sophos Shop, we called Shop v1. We were well listed on Google with the keyword “Sophos”. At the time, there were what felt like 300 million other online stores on the Internet, but none sold Sophos products. It was just difficult to even get pricing information on a Sophos product. So you could say we were pioneers in this area.

After a few weeks, we had so many inquiries that we had to optimize because there was too much administrative work. So we started from scratch again, thought about what we needed to do better and worked on Shop v2. This time it really already felt like a real online store. For the first time, there was a place on the Internet for customers from Switzerland to order Sophos-branded hardware and licenses. We also had a basic firewall setup for an all-inclusive price.

But we also didn’t want to be labeled simply as an “online store”, so we invested a lot of time in further expanding our Sophos know-how and had our knowledge tested through further certifications from Sophos. After all, we were Sophos service providers and wanted to be able to help our customers with problems.

2015

All the time we had invested in our store v2 has paid off. We were found by more and more people over the Internet who were interested in Sophos, and orders continued to increase. Up until that point, we never actually thought about what might happen. We simply reacted to the market and did what we thought was right.

When at some point we were overwhelmed by the administrative workload again, it was immediately clear to us that our store v2 had to go offline as well. We simply increasingly lacked the time to get back to interesting projects or try out new features from Sophos. We definitely needed a real store now that could handle a lot of things automatically, without us having to check 100 more things for every order.

So after 3 months of planning and implementation, Shop v3 went online, which is still doing its job wonderfully today. The third version, unlike its predecessor, offered even more information, videos, payment methods and new products and services.

At that time, we also started to include our blog more and wrote articles about new products, updates or features, which we then also linked to on the product pages. We owe a lot to this store to this day, as it is responsible for the majority of new Sophos orders.

As we grew as a small two-man shop, Sophos itself became aware of us. Dieter then introduced us to Quentin, our current account manager at Sophos. He took us by the hand and made us a Sophos Gold Partner…. yes, really! We could hardly believe it ourselves.

We were happy! We did what we liked to do and could live on what we earned. What more did we want? Oh, we had no idea what else was in store for us….

2016

In summary, 2016 was just a really bad year. Thanks to Quentin, we were invited for the first time ever to the Sophos Partner Conference, which took place in Cannes.

@Quentin: Thank you very much!

We will never forget these three days and if we do, hundreds of photos will remind us. We were as shy as young deer, coming out of our office to the blazing sun and the sea for the first time in a long time. It was a tremendous Sophos event and we even sat at the table in a meeting with important people from Sophos, such as Karl-Heinz Warum, who looks after 93 countries at Sophos.

The firewalls we installed and deployed were now protecting companies with just over 2,500 users. Not that we doubted our abilities, but it was a good feeling that even such large companies trusted a two-man operation.

But more was happening. We became the first Sophos Synchronized Security Partner in Switzerland and in Nuremberg at the security fair (it-sa) we met the honorable Michael Gutsch. He plays an incredibly important role in our current project, which we will soon present to the public. Work on this project began in December 2016. Since our online store was doing very well, there was no reason to throw everything over again and create yet another fourth version. No, with all the knowledge and experience we had gathered over the last few years, we wanted to create something completely new.

2017

And so here we are, in 2017. Respect to all who have read this far! It’s nice that someone is interested in our story. ๐Ÿ˜‰

What has already happened this year, you can read in detail in various blogposts. In February we changed from GmbH to AG, in April we made a trip with Quentin to the headquarters of Sophos Germany and got to know the people who work on the products we use. In May we were again invited to the Sophos Partner Conference, which took place this year in Lisbon. We have summarized all the impressions of the Discover Conference and Sophos’ visions from this year in a separate blog post: Sophos Discover Conference 2017 – What Sophos plans for the future

Other than that, we continue to work on great projects and of course our internal project(codename: Optimus Prime). This also resulted in “Lena”, which we will introduce to you in due course.

But now comes the moment why you actually started reading this article. In fact, on March 29, 2017, Quentin informed us that we can now call ourselves Sophos Platinum Partners.

We are No.7

With just over 1,200 Sophos partners in Switzerland, to be among the top 7 partners within 4 years is something incredible for us and it also shows that we have already done something right.

We find it absolutely blatant when we compare ourselves with the other Sophos Platinum Partners. With 20 years difference we are now the youngest and with 6 employees difference smallest Platinum Partner in Switzerland.

But how do you get to this status?

1. certifications

Some certifications are necessary for a Platinum status. We’ll leave out the Astaro v6 certifications, those are from before Sophos took over the firewall manufacturer. But here is a list of all the certifications we have completed:

  • 2014-01-29 – Sophos Certified Engineer – UTM/Network Protection EL30a-EN – Lab Assessment
  • 2014-02-08 – Sophos Certified MSP – MSP30a – MSP UTM/Network Protection Overview
  • 2014-02-08 – Sophos Certified Engineer – TO30a-EN – Technical Overview – UTM v9
  • 2014-02-08 – Sophos Certified Architect – AH30a Part 1 – Certified Architect – UTM
  • 2014-02-09 – Sophos Certified Architect – AL30a Part 2 – UTM/Network Protection
  • 2014-02-17 – Sophos Certified Engineer – EL20a-EN – Data Protection
  • 2014-02-17 – Sophos Certified Engineer – TO20a-EN – Technical Overview – Data Protection
  • 2015-07-19 – Certified Engineer – Sophos Cloud
  • 2015-07-19 – Certified Engineer – Sophos UTM
  • 2016-05-23 – Certified Engineer – Sophos Firewall Beta
  • 2016-05-23 – Certified Engineer – Sophos XG Firewall
  • 2016-08-09 – Certified EngineerSophos Central
  • 2016-10-13 – Synchronized Security SpecialistSophos Central and Sophos XG Firewall Heartbeart
  • 2017-02-21 – Certified ArchitectSophos XG Firewall v16.5

We also omitted the 22 Sales certifications from the list. However, these are still needed, because they prove that people are also familiar with Sophos products.

The certifications also show which products we focus on. Sophos has a large portfolio and various solutions. However, we focus on Sophos UTM (while it is still under development), Sophos XG and Sophos Central, which interact via the Security Heartbeat.

2. turnover

Certifications are only one part that must be met to become a Platinum Partner. The other part, as with any other manufacturer, is sales. This is where you come in, because thanks to the trust you have placed in us, we have been able to post good figures and last year they were so good that we can now call ourselves Platinum Partners.

Admittedly, it was a bit close and we really have to step on the gas that this can still be us next year. In the end, however, it is only a status, which basically does not change anything in our way of working and philosophy. We are who we are and it is much more important to us that we understand Sophos products and can help our customers at any time. Nevertheless, it is of course cool to know that you are one of a few in Switzerland who have earned this status.

So here’s a big THANK YOU to all our Sophos customers!

The service, which generated this map from the postal codes, was free of charge and therefore limited to 250 entries. But of course we thank each of you, also the German and Austrian customers who didn’t make it on the map due to design and cost reasons. ๐Ÿ™‚

Shipping costs are cancelled in the future!

We thought long and hard about what we could give back to you as a thank you. Since we already have very fair prices on our store, we unfortunately cannot turn this wheel any further. What we will do away with immediately, however, are our flat-rate shipping costs for Switzerland. As of now we offer Free Shipping on all products.

Why we take the shipping on our head in the future? Well, because we can! Since we question everything at least twice a year and optimize our processes, we can not only process inquiries faster, but also offer more favorable prices as a result. The 12 CHF we will cope and apart from that, we do not need so much to live. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It goes on…

As mentioned, we have already been working on a new project since December 2016. This will leave the beta phase on July 12. More about this in the next blogpost.

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