Sophos Launches MSP Program

Sophos executives said that the MSP program, launched Monday, allows participating partners to have access to deeper, recurring revenue streams and volume-based discounts. The program also gives Sophos partners the option of paying the company on an annual or monthly basis, depending on their customers' needs and financial abilities -- an implementation designed to free up cash flow for Sophos MSP, executive say. In addition, Sophos MSPs will be able to access technical support at no charge.

The new MSP program was designed to give Sophos partners the tools to expand their portfolio of endpoint security services, such as remote endpoint security monitoring and management, PC firewall and other monitoring, and services around regulatory compliance and reporting.

Sophos' new MSP program aligns with industry trends that are moving toward services-based or hybrid approach for IT infrastructure management in the SMB and mid-market, executives said.

Meanwhile, Sophos executives added that managed services fill a critical niche for SMBs and lower mid-market companies facing mounting security threats and increasingly stringent compliance regulations with limited IT budgets and staff.

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“Many small businesses have limited IT resources to manage and secure their endpoint, web, and email infrastructure. They also face the ever-growing number of sophisticated malware threats that use various vectors. On top of that, they must deal with the mounting pressure to comply with industry and government regulations,” said Chris Doggett, Sophos vice president of global channel programs, in a statement. “All these factors have contributed to the growth in the MSP market as more companies look to outsource security."

The MSP program launch represents a concerted step up for Sophos by creating and formalizing an official program directly targeting managed service providers. Doggett said that in the past, Sophos worked with MSPs on a case-by-case basis by offering each partner their own contract, terms and conditions and pricing. "With the growing market shift, it made sense on several fronts for us to offer a more formalized MSP program especially as we already have a wide range of certified channel partners offering managed services," he said.

Doggett said during a CRN interview that down the road, Sophos has plans to further expand its footprint in the managed services space, in light of last week's deal with investment firm APAX Partners, which purchased the majority of the company's interest for $830 million.

Doggett said that more than half of Sophos partners derive about 50 percent of their revenue from some kind of managed services, but it was still a space that was "relatively untapped" for partners.

"The simplicity of management, ease of deployment, reliability and quality of products -- all of these things really resonate well for VARs who are providing managed services for their clients," Doggett said. "We're focused on VARs who are providing. This is a great way for them to expand their footprint in gateway and endpoint security."