Iomega Launches Managed Security Service To SMB VARs; Storage Services Coming

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San Diego-based Iomega this week started delivering security and compliance solutions from San Carlos, Calif.-based Postini to small and midsize business VARs, said Jon Huberman, Iomega CEO.

The relationship is the latest in Iomega's move to transform itself from a hardware-only vendor to a provider of managed services through its worldwide reseller network. The transformation began with its acquisition a year ago of CSCI, a regional MSP based in San Diego.

The company's focus so far has been on security services, both from its original CSCI acquisition and its signing of a deal last August with VeriSign to offer SSL certificates.

However, by year-end, Iomega expects to start working with a third-party service vendor to provide disaster recovery and business continuity services in combination with its NAS and direct-attach storage hardware, Huberman said.

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"We would leverage their backend," Huberman said. "We're still talking to a couple partners. There are companies with an enterprise focus and technology but no SMB business. And smaller guys on the SMB side but with no brand awareness."

That will be a welcome move for NDS Consulting, a San Diego-based consulting company that provides IT support to biopharma companies, most of which are too small to have their own IT support staff, but still are dealing with huge data growth.

Dave Pirie, owner of NDS, said that his clients usually start with one person and a good idea, and would be interested in managed storage. "We haven't seen the Iomega storage service offering yet, but it may be a good option for these companies as they're starting out," he said.

Pirie said NDS already is working with Postini through Iomega, and the fact that Iomega has the Postini relationship means he can offer his customers the kind of enterprise-class technology they typically would not be able to acquire.

NDS resells the Postini products to customers, and depends on Iomega to help with support, Pirie said.

"The agreement with Postini gives Iomega engineers direct access with Postini, whereas I'm not big enough to get access to Postini," he said. "Most of my customers have five to 20 employees. This is an avenue to get the enterprise technology of Postini even though they aren't big enough to normally work with Postini."

Pirie said that the Iomega/Postini relationship allows NDS to offer Postini anti-spam technology at a lower cost than its current vendor, Commtouch, Sunnyvale, Calif.

"Our customers signed up with Commtouch in part because of lower cost," he said. "I don't know the details of the Iomega and Postini contract, but it results in lower-cost product than Commtouch."

Huberman called Postini the leader in enterprise-level e-mail security as a service, with the e-mail security done on site via software or appliance or as a service. Postini claims to have a 40 percent market share in e-mail security, mainly in enterprise customers, he said.

"They've grown by targeting large banks and other institutions with thousands of seats," he said. "They can't touch smaller customers. But we can come in and sell to smaller companies."

Iomega already has signed Tech Data to bring the Postini technology to small and midsize solution providers, Huberman said. "VARs can buy it from Tech Data and then work with us to get up and running. Once a VAR does this, once or twice, it's very easy to do. The only issue is how the change the MX record, which is the address of an e-mail box. They need to change the address so e-mails route through Postini."

In addition to adding storage as a service, Iomega also plans to upgrade its security services with such features as e-mail encryption, e-mail archiving, and services for instant messaging, Huberman said.