David Blackman, channel director at security giant Symantec, adds that resellers should eye up opportunities to develop security services around a wider range of messaging threats. Some 61 percent of all email is now spam, and the rise of instant messaging (IM) means hackers will increasingly target that too. “Security means protecting the key business of companies,” Blackman says. “By going into email, people can find out anything they want about a company.”
|HP's Pestonji: Relying on the channel to get to SMBs|
Michael Ang, Asia-Pacific vice-president at Aventail, is also bullish on holistic security services. “People are starting to look at security services in terms of the full set of services...It’s not just about one particular product.” Ang says.
“They’re going to outsourcing companies and larger integrators.” Aventail is getting good results from local resellers like Loop Technology and ComNet Solutions, he says.
“[Loop] has a very large technical and sales team who understand the solution,” Ang says. “So I believe in specific relationships.”
Cyrus Pestonji, business development manager for HP services, says the vendor is doing well with channel partners such as OfficeMax. HP has various new security services -- including security reliability assessment, desktop security and backup offerings -- and related products that rely on the channel to get to SMBs.
“It suits channel partners used to talking to customers about value propositions and business issues, because really this is a business issue for SMBs,” he says. “We want to provide our channel partners with new solutions. If you look at the SMB market, there are over 300,000 businesses and there’s no way HP can get to that market cost-effectively.” Pestonji says many organisations are going online for business purposes but are unsure how to protect their customers. “Some have stopped their businesses because of viruses and spam going around,” he says.
Nick Verykios, marketing director at distributor Firewall Systems, is also hot on “beyond the box” offerings. “It’s no good having the best IPS or anti-virus system if the server blows up, someone steals it or water blows through the mains,” he says.
However, Verykios adds, that it is no good selling a solution if it is not remotely managed by a specialist provider because the security products themselves become obsolete the second they are turned on.
The channel certainly has a much clearer idea of what is needed to build a great security services practice today. But the question remains: how many will successfully use that knowledge to ride out the coming storm?