Check Point's Ungerman Talks Up SMB Market

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Check Point Software Technologies is aggressively adding solution providers and service providers that will help it reach out more formally to the SMB market, said the company's president.

The revelation came Thursday as Check Point steps more aggressively into the wireless security arena, adapting its VPN-1 SecureClient product to support Windows-based PDAs and handheld devices. That introduction came at the CeBIT conference in Germany.

At Solution Provider XChange here, Jerry Ungerman, president of Check Point, said, "The telcos are a natural channel for us because they are the ones that sell connectivity to all these small businesses, and security is very much of a value-added service for them. So I think the biggest channel for us will be service providers."

The service providers as a channel generate between 15 percent and 20 percent of the company's revenue, he said.

Check Point also is actively recruiting resellers with a focus on accounts with fewer than 100 employees, especially those that reach out to small businesses with one to 10 users. "So it's the combination of the service provider, plus that low-end reseller that goes through distribution," Ungerman said.

The company already is working with distributor Tech Data to develop the SMB reseller channel.

In addition, Check Point is evaluating how to build on its relationships with channel partners that are not officially allied with Check Point. More than 50 percent of its revenue today comes from partners that work informally with the company.

"That's a lot of companies selling it that haven't signed up directly, but what it probably means to me is that security is not their primary focus," he said.

Contributors include integrators such as IBM Global Services and also resellers working with approximately 18 Check Point OEM vendor partners that are embedding its software into their platforms. "This gives us another access to solution providers all over the world," Ungerman said.

One hardware vendor conspicuously absent from Check Point's partner roster is Cisco Systems.

But Check Point expects to cement closer relationships with companies including Nokia as it extends its product line to support wireless applications and mobile solutions, Ungerman said.

"Every segment, every device, open servers, hardware applications, wireless devices, data center boxes," said Ungerman. "You will see Check Point technology everywhere."

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