VARs: Trend Micro May Eye SMBs For Subscription Security Service


Trend Micro’s plan to offer a subscription-based security service could position the company to make a managed services play in the small- and midsize-business market, solution providers say.

Plans call for Trend Micro to launch the service around the end of May, and although the Tokyo-based security vendor initially aims to target the consumer space, an SMB offering would be a "natural evolution," according to a source close to the company.

Trend Micro’s subscription security service would compete with similar planned offerings from Microsoft and Symantec. Brian Deeley, manager of Graymar Business Solutions, a Timonium, Md.-based solution provider, said vendors are increasingly looking to fee-based security services as a source of recurring revenue.

Deeley said he’s not surprised that Trend Micro plans its own security service, but he doesn't expect it to be able to compete with Microsoft's Windows OneCare Live security service because of the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's superior marketing clout. OneCare Live, now in beta testing, will be priced at $49.95 annually.

While such security services are being targeted at consumers initially, the bigger play will be managed security services for SMBs, Deeley noted. "Everybody is trying to figure out how to penetrate the SMB space, and one way to do it is with focused security managed-service solutions," he said.

Trend Micro might try to jump ahead of Microsoft by being the first vendor to bring a subscription-based security service to the SMB arena, said Steven Palange, president of security solution provider TLIC Worldwide, Wakefield, R.I. "It would be a very sharp move on Trend's part, because it would enable them to tap into the high demand that exists right now in the sub-50-seat end of the SMB market," he said.

Roy Miehe, CEO and president of AAAntivirus.com, a solution provider in Campbell, Calif., said he is taking a wait-and-see approach to the news of Trend Micro’s security service strategy. "The big questions I have are, will it be a managed service, and how will Trend involve its partners?" he said.