Kaspersky Lab unveiled a Certified Service Provider Program, enabling partners that meet the minimum training requirements to sell the same professional services offered by Kaspersky Lab systems engineers.
The new program was introduced at the company's 7th Annual North America Partner Summit in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, alongside new platinum and gold support levels for customers. Executives said the new support tiers will be an additional revenue opportunity for partners and help some solution providers establish a trusted adviser relationship with their clients. The company had been testing the premium level support over the past year.
Kaspersky Lab is not trying to create a huge professional services organization; it is focusing on keeping projects local while getting the most revenue on deals for partners and the company.
"We've created a program that consists of a pool of partners who are technically accredited subcontractors and can achieve our objectives for customer deployments," said Kaspersky Lab Channel Chief Christopher Doggett. "The program involves not only partners on the front end, but partners on the back end as well."
Under the new program, partners have the ability to sell and deliver professional services with Kaspersky Lab. The program includes remote and on-site services. Partners can participate at any level they want. Deal protection is in place, barring certified professional partners from doing business with the premium support client for a period of one year.
Program training to get certified as a service provider is conducted over four days. It can be done online, but classroom-based instruction is available and encouraged.
Kaspersky Lab endpoint security software includes a client management console that can be customized to support specific corporate policies. Doggett said the company remains committed to offering a no-charge standard technical support on all Kaspersky Lab products via its U.S.-based support team.
New premium support offerings include access to a technical account manager, on-site assistance and 24/7 support. Partners are being encouraged to sell a Platinum Support option at $30,000 a year for large businesses, which provides 24/7 access to a dedicated technical account manager. A Gold Support option provides the same round-the-clock support as the Platinum level, but is limited to critical issues. The Gold level sells at a 12 percent uplift to the MSRP license cost.
Kaspersky Lab executives said they would like to boost the number of customers who choose Platinum level support. The company signed up several hundred Gold level customers under the soft launch of the premium support program.
Solution providers praised the new certification program and said they see value in offering premium support to clients. "Customers typically like an extra level of support, particularly to deal with infected systems," said Mark Tucker, a product champion at Ellisville, Miss.-based Howard Technology Solutions, a Kaspersky Lab reseller. Tucker said the added support can often help save on expensive security response services and downtime associated with an infected machine.
"It takes the pain away from having to deal with the problem once the software detects a threat," Tucker said. "Problems can be resolved much quicker so employees can get back to work."
PUBLISHED FEB. 7, 2014