Qualys Aids Partners With Online Offerings

New suite includes vulnerability assessment trial

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Last month, Qualys rolled out a suite of Web-based services and tools to support partners selling its Web-based vulnerability assessment offerings.

The suite includes FreeScan, an automated, free trial of its QualysGuard network vulnerability assessment service; a resource portal; and Web-based training.

"We have a completely online-based product solution," said Tom Clare, director of channel marketing and enterprise solutions at Qualys, based here. "Now we have a completely online-based partner program."

And that program is different from those of vendors still still asking their partners to attend events, Clare said. While Qualys employs regional channel managers, the vendor tries to keep the core of its educational efforts in an online format, he said.

Founded in 1999, Qualys has about 300 partners around the world, including security VARs, consultants and service providers.

FreeScan is activated by a co-branded button on partners' Web sites that customers can click on to receive an instant trial of QualysGuard.

After prospects complete a one-time scan of a single IP address, they receive a report showing their system vulnerabilities and remedies. Reports are co-branded with the partner's logo, and leads generated by the trial system are sent to the partner on a daily basis.

Also, FreeScan uses unique lead source codes to support partners' multiple marketing campaigns, he said. For example, if a prospect learns about FreeScan from a flyer handed out at a seminar, FreeScan can track that, he said.

"It's just a great tool to get some instant Internet security," said Jeff Johnstone, marketing manager at NCC Networks, a Chicago-based security integrator and Qualys partner.

"With the button on our home page, it gives our customers and prospects a little more confidence," Johnstone said. "They know our company and feel more comfortable signing up with a name they recognize," he said.

"We regard the offering by Qualys as a very positive partner support tool to provide both marketing support and client education," said Jim Dziak, president of MicroTek Systems, a Milwaukee solution provider specializing in networking, security and document information management.

Clare said Qualys is developing another lead-generation tool, called FreeMap, that will allow customer prospects to conduct network discovery and system identification on a domain or within a range of IP addresses. The new partner portal offers online sales and marketing tools, as well as technical and sales training. Qualys also recently added new functionality to its back-office infrastructure that allows partners to set up and manage accounts from a Web browser, Clare said.

The new portal provides the sales team at Vigilinx, a security firm in Parsippany, N.J., with more immediate ways to generate prospects, sign up customers and stay informed of Qualys technology, said Adam Lipson, executive vice president of client services and product development at Vigilinx. QualysGuard is an integral part of Vigilinx's network security offering, Lipson said. The service allows "customers to automate vulnerability identification and resolution to reduce the window of exposure between a security alert and a potential attack," he said.

QualysGuard pricing starts at $995 per year for one IP address. Premium partners receive a 35 percent margin, and Platinum partners receive a 45 percent margin.

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