Cloud Security Takes Spotlight In New Blue Coat Partner Program, Service

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Blue Coat Systems is setting its sights on the cloud and will launch a new cloud-specific partner program and cloud services offerings to give the channel new plays in cloud security.

The Cloud Partner Program, the company said, will give its partners a path to sell Blue Coat Cloud Services, a Web-delivered service offering that uses Blue Coat technology and cloud-based WebPulse service to protect Web users.

At the start, the Cloud Partner Program will feature two designations; Cloud-Ready and Managed Security Service Provider. Cloud-Ready gives existing Blue Coat partners sales and technology training to start selling cloud security services, while Managed Security Service Provider is an advanced designation for partners to white label the Blue Coat Cloud Service and build offerings around it. Blue Coat Cloud Service, which the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company recently launched on Monday, is an Internet-delivered security service.

The first subscription of the Blue Coat Cloud Service is the Web Security Module, a module that delivers Web protection in real time that can be managed and deployed from anywhere in the world, said Anthony James, Blue Coat's vice president of product management and marketing, Cloud Services. The Web Security Module also enables partners and end users to control social media and social networking sites to ensure safe access, so policies around photos and videos and other actions can be set. The service is location-aware, meaning it routes Web requests to the closest Blue Coat data center based on location.

"We're taking our core security intellectual property and delivering it from a cloud perspective," James said in an interview. The full-SaaS environment filters traffic in the cloud, enforces Web policy and offers protection.

Blue Coat is currently collocating data centers in five locations; three in the U.S, one in the U.K., and one coming soon in Singapore. James estimated that Blue Coat will have data center space in 20 locations over the next 12 to 18 months.

Partners and administrators log into portals for management and reporting capabilities and to set and adjust Web security policies and controls.

"We have a little more control because the traffic passes directly through our equipment," he said.

The subscription-based Web Security Module, which offers threat mitigation via the cloud, will be priced in ties by volume starting at less than $20 per user per year for large deployments and $55 per user for small deployments.

"We designed the product with partners in mind," James said, noting that Blue Coat Cloud Partner Program members will have the ability to see all customer environments via a single portal and vie all activity and information from that single pane.

Cloud resellers, James said, will own the customer relationship, while Managed Services partners will have the ability to extend the service using their own branding through white label capabilities.

Currently, the Blue Coat Cloud Partner Program targets existing security partners that understand setting and implementing security policies, but it also is aimed at SaaS players that are looking to build out a cloud security practice.

"We are following the traditional Blue Coat model," James said of the Cloud Partner Program, adding that partners can expect the same margins they are used to with Blue Coat. "Every partner who sells the cloud service will get the same benefits as with the appliance."

James said Blue Coat expects the Blue Coat Cloud Services Web Security Module to be generally available in March.

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