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Channel Best-Sellers: Security Suites

Still far and away the market leader, Symantec Corp. held fast to its position in security suite products, exceeding its nearest competitor, CA Inc., by more than 50 share percentage points. Despite its market dominance Symantec's security suite offering lost seven-tenths of a point between 2006 and 2007.

Executives attribute this slight downturn to delayed releases when the company moved from antivirus solutions to its more comprehensive end-point protection product lines. "People do have a tendency to wait when they hear something new is coming," said Julie Parrish, vice president of global channel sales for Symantec.

"We had a number of significant announcements in Backup Exec and Endpoint Protection products, all of which provide our customers with the latest version of market-leading products," said Parrish.

CA also experienced a market-share dip, as did McAfee.

McAfee executives maintain that sales in its security suite offerings, as well as other products, have actually risen in the last two years. Dave Dickison, Senior VP of North American Channel for McAfee, said the company's product share percentage rates are continuously reflected in rising financial earnings. "We've seen the opposite, that we've gained market share," said Dickison. "We find sales quite a bit ahead of the biggest competitor there."

Dickison said that in particular, the company has had strong sales in its endpoint solutions. "We've seen a ton of growth in that segment as people realize the threats are critical and are moving to the best of suite solutions to secure the endpoint," said Dickison. "Customers who have accepted that message have rapidly moved over."

Security suite solutions have experienced growth in other channels, with Trend Micro Inc. and Kasperksy Lab gaining market share.

Kaspersky Lab executives say they have seen exponential growth over the past few years due to the fact that they made have relied on channel sales from thestart. "It was an issue of Kaspersky living up to its commitments. We let [partners] understand that we were jumping in this with both feet," said John Eddy, senior vice president of sales for the America.

Partners also are bullish on Kaspersky's offerings. "When we recommend Kaspersky, we can go in there, we put that on a customer's systems, and it immediately detects viruses or spyware that the previous product had missed," said Spencer Ferguson, president of Wasatch Software and a Kaspersky partner. Meanwhile, Trend Micro said gains in SMB market were the result of increased adoption of its Worry Free line. Trend Micro execs also maintain that market share with the enterprise segment continues to grow.

"Customers are looking to consolidate vendors and reduce complexity and cost more and more these days," said Nancy Reynolds, VP of Channel and SMB Sales, North America for Trend Micro. "Through Worry Free Remote Manager, we provide a hosted, centralized console to manage security. The product is cost-effective, easy to install and manage on a day-to-day basis."

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