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Top executives in Hewlett-Packard's security business have launched a multimillion dollar channel sales offensive with a soon to be released managed security services program that has already attracted a $15 million investment from systems integration giant Computer Sciences Corp.
In an exclusive interview with CRN, the company's top channel executives said the new MSP channel program for HP's ArcSight security, information and event management appliances and its Fortify security software business will be formally launched in the next six months. HP says it already has about 55 MSPs that are interested in partnering on the security subscription-based offering including $16 billion services behemoth CSC.
The channel restructuring and MSP program launch is being overseen by two executives with a long history in the security industry: Rick Hanson, vice president of global sales and field operations at HP Enterprise Security, and Eli J. Kalil, vice president of HP Enterprise Security global sales channels. The two men, both former executives at RSA, now the security division of EMC, were brought in by HP in mid-2012 to overhaul its partner program, which they say had been stymied by various acquisitions over the years.
Kalil said he and Hanson are passionate about building out strong relationships with managed security service providers, where the industry is seeing much of the growth. "We believe MSPs and especially security MSPs are primed to deliver our security in subscription-based model to small and medium enterprises," Kalil said.
The duo's initial move was to implement an aggressive new pro-channel compensation model for security software that went into effect last Nov. 1. The change not only pays HP's 420 security software direct sales reps 110 percent for all sales that go through HP solution providers but also gets those direct sales reps more quickly to quota and compensation accelerators.
"It was total channel conflict last year before we made the change," said Hanson. "It was a big investment we put out there monetarily to do this. But when you are kicking off and want to put adrenaline in the channel program, this is what you have to do."
Sam Visner, vice president and general manager of cybersecurity at Falls Church, Va.-based managed services provider CSC, said the company believes in HP and its vision around threat detection and intelligence gathering via its ArcSight SIEM appliances. HP not only provides technology to CSC but also gives the firm access to development and support teams, Visner said.
"It provides an excellent environment for event correlation and analysis," Visner said. "The company has shown it is putting research and development resources into its products to sustain a modern capability."
CSC is both deploying ArcSight for individual customers and using the SIEM in its own architecture and infrastructure in its security operations center. ArcSight integration with CSC's homegrown tools and connectors to third-party products gives CSC added flexibility, Visner said.
"Sometimes the market wants to manage security in-house, but we are approaching them to get them to let us architect, engineer and integrate their security operations center and cyber infrastructure," he said. "There's a lot of homemade solutions, but the foundation of that architecture is the standard SIEM."