Check Point Gets In Midmarket Zone

Over the past three years, Check Point has seen its share in hybrid security offerings slip. According to Synergy Research, the vendor dropped to 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2005 vs. 8.5 percent in the second quarter of 2002. Its share of the overall security market slid to 11.1 percent from 15.5 percent during the same period, Synergy reported.

But Check Point expects to reverse its fortunes with a new emphasis on consolidated security management and a sharper focus on untapped midmarket opportunities, said Gil Shwed, founder, chairman and CEO of Check Point, Redwood City, Calif.

Enabling this broader approach is NGX, software that unifies Check Point's portfolio of 20-plus security products under a single, dynamic management interface. Check Point's VPN-1 Edge, Integrity, InterSpect and Connectra still await final integration into NGX, but the end game will enable VARs to offer a complete solution that extends into the cloud, as well as management tools that give smaller IT shops the ability to handle it, Shwed said last week in an interview with CRN.

"Two years ago the primary thing we would address is perimeter security, but today we address internal, Web, end-point and branch-office security, which is part of the perimeter. What we are addressing now is a much broader market," Shwed said.

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VARs at Check Point's user conference last week were optimistic about the potential for NGX to expand their Check Point sales into the steamy midmarket.

Brad Reed, vice president of Internet security at Compuquip Technologies, Miami, said NGX's ability to reduce the number of product consoles will appeal to the midmarket. "In the past, having to attend to a dozen different consoles was something only an enterprise network could afford to do, not an SMB," he said.