TraceSecurity is stepping up its presence in the channel with a new channel partner program. The TraceSecurity Partner Program provides the fundamentals of onboarding partners and getting them up to speed on the company's cloud-based IT governance, risk and compliance (GRC) products.

In December, TraceSecurity hired former Cisco Systems Channel Business Development Manager Alan Fortier, to head up its Channel Sales group. Fortier, the company's director of Channel Sales, has obviously been hard at work getting TraceSecurity's channel partner program in place. Fortier is a 20-year channel veteran who spent most of that time working for Cisco.

The new program will cater to five different types of partners—referral partners, resellers, VARs, consultants and technology partners (the catch-all spot for those who don't fit into the other four categories). According to Fortier, the sweet spot of the program will the VAR category.

Fortier said the program was designed to be as simple, flexible and profitable for partners as possible. He told Talkin' Cloud that in the last 20 years, he has seen far too many channel partner programs that were too complicated, required a lot of certifications and forced partners to make plenty of upfront investments. An interesting statement, considering it comes from someone who spent much of his career working at Cisco, which has at times over-complicated its channel programs but is generally considered a vendor leader in the channel space.

Still, the point is TraceSecurity's focus with the new program is to make it as easy as possible for partners to do business with the company and take its TraceCSO cloud security product to end customers.

"These are partners that sell, implement and support the product moving forward," Fortier said.

So far, he said response from the potential partners he has spoken with has been good. TraceSecurity will provide its partners with free sales and technical training through WebEx and other means. Besides some time to learn the products, he noted there is no upfront investment required.

On launch day (that's today), TraceSecurity already has close to 10 partners signed up, and now it's going into full recruitment mode. Fortier said the company will be selective in the partners it chooses to work with.

"We're going to be somewhat cautious. It's not about seeing how many partners we can sign up," Fortier said.