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Channel Best-Sellers: Winning Security Players

The company with the highest growth in this CMP Channel Best Sellers survey is one that didn't even blip on the sales radar last year: PGP, the encryption technology vendor that saw its market share leap from zero to 5.2 percent.

E-Mail Security

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encryption

The survey also found that Trend Micro's channel-sales advantage over archrival Symantec is growing. According to the latest research from the NPD Group/Distributor Track, in the first six months of 2007, Trend Micro's share of the money spent on e-mail security suites rose to 48.9 percent, growing 4.8 percent, while Symantec's share slipped 4.9 percent, falling to 37 percent.

Customers are moving further along the adoption curve, expanding beyond firewall and spam solutions into network access control and data-loss-prevention products, security VARs say. Trend Micro proactively moved into that market in October by acquiring Provilla, whose flagship LeakProof software tracks activity around sensitive documents.

CA slowed down in the security market, suffering a 3.5 percent share loss according to the research data. Those survey results dovetail with CA's own financial reports, which show a 5 percent decline in CA's security management unit's billing for the first six months of this year, compared to the first half of 2006.

-- Stacy Cowley

Internet Filters and Blocks

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Each of the five vendors in the Internet Filters and Blockers category of CMP Channel Best Sellers survey saw significant market share losses in the first half of this year. Symantec still held the lion's share of the market (26.7 percent), but Secure Computing fared the best in terms of market-share retention—its 2 percent share was down only 0.7 percent from the first half of 2006.

Rounding out the top five were Trend Micro, Webroot and McAfee with percent losses of 1.8, 0.4 and 0.3, respectively.

Symantec has been challenged by the integration of Veritas into its organization in 2005. In February of this year, the security giant unveiled a channel program designed to enable VARs to reach more rewarding levels of partnership.

-- Jennifer Bosavage

Network Security Hardware

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Solid support and a laser focus on the small and medium segments of the market helped catapult Netgear into the top position in the Network Security Hardware category of this year's CMP Channel Best Sellers survey.

According to the NPD Group/Distributor Track data, Netgear experienced the smallest loss in dollar volume share of the vendors surveyed, dropping 0.2 points, followed by Cisco with a 0.3 dip, 3Com with 0.5, WatchGuard Technologies with 0.8, and SonicWall with 1.5.

Tom Cerabona, CTO of Acredo Technologies, a Panama City, Fla.-based solution provider, said the manner in which Netgear's security appliances are assembled makes them easy to work with. "All the necessary information is provided there in a logical sequence," he said.

-- Kevin McLaughlin

Security Suites

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Security vendors that manage to strike the right balance between functionality and performance are fast becoming favorites in the channel, signaling an end to the days of security "bloatware."

Tokyo-based Trend Micro and Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab shared the top spot in the Security Suites category of this year's CMP Channel Channel Best Sellers survey, with each seeing a 4.4 point jump in dollar volume share compared to last year. McAfee placed second with 0.7 points of growth, while Symantec (-7.1) and CA (-7.8) both experienced significant losses during the period.

Tom Ruffolo, president of security solutions provider eSecurityToGo, in Irvine, Calif., says Trend's security software offers a range of useful features, but it's the vendor's generous licensing terms that are generating the most buzz in the channel.

Trend also does a good job of integrating multiple functions without letting the software become bloated, notes Ruffolo. "Some vendors' products are more granular, with more knobs and dials, which means they can be difficult to configure and manage," he said.

Kaspersky's software is easy to work with because it's integrated with the Microsoft stack and can be managed through a Microsoft Management Console, helping it fit well within a wide range of IT environments, says Roy Miehe, president and CEO at AA Antivirus, a San Jose, Calif.-based solution provider. Kaspersky's channel program has shown marked improvement over the past year, and the vendor excels in assisting channel partners and responding to their needs, according to Miehe. "Channel support actually is much more attentive and they're probably the most channel-friendly security vendor out there right now," he said.

Spencer Ferguson, president of Wasatch Software, Salt Lake City, said what sets Kaspersky apart in the channel is the vendor's willingness to work with partners on an individual basis.

"We've worked with security vendors that have started working with us only to have it fall through later, but that hasn't been the case with Kaspersky," said Ferguson.

-- Kevin McLaughlin

VPNs

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CheckPoint Software came in with the largest market share in the VPN category of the CMP Channel Best Sellers survey with 53.9 percent, but WatchGuard Technologies had the highest sales growth. WatchGuard was up 2.9 percent in the first half of 2007 over the year-ago period, while CheckPoint took a hit, enduring a drop in sales of 3.2 percent, according to data from the NPD Group/Distributor Track.

The data shows WatchGuard claimed 37.1 percent of the U.S. dollar volume share in VPN product sales. Rounding out the top four best-sellers of VPNs were SonicWall, with 2007 share of 6.9 percent (up .6 percent), and Netgear, with 2.3 percent (down .1 percent).

WatchGuard's growth came in a year that found it hiring a new CEO and re-emphasizing its channel program. Joe Wang, former CEO at LANDesk Software, took over as president and CEO at the company at the end of April.

The company has come up with innovative ways to educate solution providers on their product line. By posting online selected IT security videos produced by its LiveSecurity Service, the company makes complex technical security topics accessible to a wide audience.

SonicWall, with a .6 percent gain in share, was the only other vendor in the group to see growth in the period surveyed.

"SonicWall's products have been a hands-off experience in the best way—we'll implement and hear nothing but good from a customer," said Chris Cunningham, CTO of C3 Systems and Security, South Bay, Calif.

VARs that cater to the SMB market have embraced SonicWall's simplicity and ease of use. "Users prefer being able to access a utility via a Web browser. That enables mobility, remote access and being able to integrate into your existing infrastructure. SonicWall offers this, plus a lot more," said Alani Kuye, founder of Phantom Data Systems, Norwalk, Conn.

-- Jennifer Bosavage

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