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Based on the numbers, it appears that integration difficulties, the inability of VARs to get up to speed technically and poor vendor support put many security VARs at a competitive disadvantage. Lacking the resources to certify staff will cause solution providers to gravitate toward vendors with simpler technologies.
If solution providers are having a hard time sorting out the security technologies, their customers are completely in the dark on their security needs.
"My customers don't care about deployment difficulties; they only care about what they have to do to adopt the technology so they can finally get rid of the fax machine," says Greg Dumas, director of industrial IT services at DST Controls in Benicia, Calif.
While tech integration and configuration problems are challenging enough, solution providers say they spend an equal--if not greater--amount of time educating customers.
"The biggest thing that we offer as technology providers is education," Amicus' Penner says. "I get so caught up in running from one fire to another, education isn't what I should be doing."
But it's education and awareness that prove beneficial to solution providers. Those who make the initial entry to a customer site with an elementary technology--such as unified threat management for a small office--are finding that ongoing conversations with clients are opening up new opportunities.