PGP, Symantec Partner Up

PGP, which has a 100 percent channel-only sales model, said the deal for the first time provides its solution providers with a complete integrated secure-messaging/virus-scanning solution for incoming and outgoing messages.

The beta version of PGP Universal with Symantec AntiVirus Scan Engine is available immediately on PGP's Web site and is slated to ship with the upcoming PGP Universal 1.2.

"This is a great idea," said Brent Smith, president of ANI Direct, a Dallas-based PGP security solution provider whose company is currently testing the integrated offering. "This is another layer of security we can provide for our customers. At the same time, it's another layer of revenue and profits for us."

The integration of the two products may open the door to increased margins on antivirus sales, which typically have single-digit margins compared with the robust double-digit margins for secure-messaging products like PGP Universal, solution providers said.

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The integrated offering will be available in the United States through 50 certified PGP partners, said Steve Abbott, vice president of sales at PGP. The offering will not be available through Symantec resellers.

Solution providers must be certified by PGP to resell the offering, which will range from about $7,000 for a 100-user annual subscription to about $50,000 for a 1,000-user subscription, Abbott said, adding that Symantec receives royalties on each sale.

PGP has no plans to significantly expand its Universal PGP channel base in the United States beyond the 50 partners that are already certified, Abbott said. "Right now, we have a very structured partner and certification program."

PGP Universal partners must complete a four-day program and pass a test before becoming authorized to sell the product.