Enterasys Embraces Managed Security Service Providers

Through its new MSSP program, Enterasys hopes to attract a small group of partners that can provide top-level managed services around its Dragon intrusion-detection products, said Lynn Tinney, vice president of managed security partnerships at Enterasys, Andover, Mass.

"We found that the traditional reseller, although very good at many things, just does not have the depth of talent to deliver what these MSSPs do, specifically on the security front," Tinney said.

>> Enterasys aims to foster partnerships between MSSPs and its traditional partner base.

To join the program, MSSPs must run their own Security Operations Center and commit to advanced security training. In return, Enterasys grants priority access to Level 3 technical-support services, invites program members to participate in roundtable discussions on product and market direction, and provides Web-based training for technicians as well as consultants.

"The more closely tied in to a vendor we are, the better the security management we can do for our joint customers," said Mordecai Rosen, vice president of corporate development at Herndon, Va.-based NetSec, the first MSSP to join the program.

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While several of NetSec's vendor partners offer special partner programs for MSSPs, Enterasys is unique in the level of technical access, insight into product road maps and sales support it is providing, Rosen said. "It allows us to be responsive and proactive," he said.

Enterasys is in discussions with about five other MSSPs and hopes to have some of them signed up for the program soon, Tinney said.

In addition to attracting MSSP partners that could purchase Enterasys gear internally and recommend it to their customers, the vendor will also use the program to foster partnerships between the MSSPs and its traditional partner base of VARs and integrators, she said.

"[Our traditional partners] can bring in an MSSP not only to do the planning, design and implementation pieces of [a project], but they can also bring them in to do the managed piece of it, if that's what the customer would request," Tinney said.

Gary Noble, business development manager at Chapin, S.C.-based solution provider Data Network Solutions, said the program was a good move for Enterasys, adding that his company would be interested in partnering with an MSSP if the opportunity arises.