RSA Rolls Out MSSP Tools, Support To Partners

At the Xchange Americas 2010 conference in Dallas, RSA unveiled a new MSSP program that gives uninitiated partners the tools and support they need to quickly get up to speed. For partners that have already been testing the waters in services, the program provides a roadmap for them to follow.

Joe Gabriel, director of global channel marketing for RSA, says the idea is to establish guidelines and encourage more partners to tap into the lucrative business opportunities that exist in the MSSP space.

"Partners have been offering RSA as a managed service for years, but this program formalizes it with tools they need to become MSPs," said Gabriel. "We have a handful of partners delivering solutions as a managed service right now, and we expect that number to double, maybe triple."

MSSPs are especially in demand in the SMB market, where companies are small and generally don't have resources to expend on IT staff. The reality is that every company, regardless of their size, has security challenges, and partners that offer services that tackle them are going to see sustained business.

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From a technology perspective, it's crucial for partners to choose the right set of products for building solutions in a multi-tenant environment, according to Gabriel. RSA's MSSP program offers advice on this as well as other business-related concerns, he said.

"We give them guidance on running their business, how to handle annuity revenue, and how to pay sales reps," he said. This is important because for newcomers, the services business quickly generates questions, like how to handle pay sales reps for selling a three-year deal, or whether to bill monthly or annually, Gabriel said.

RSA SecurWorld partners, who are certified, will continue to receive benefits when they resell RSA's Archer Suite of products. Other RSA SecurWorld partners can obtain benefits when they refer Archer-related business directly to RSA. In early 2011, the full suite of products will be made available to RSA's global SecurWorld partners.

Meanwhile, RSA says it will also continue to offer reseller benefits to partners that are certified on Archer Products, while those that aren’t certified will be rewarded to referring Archer deals to RSA.

From a compliance risk and governance standpoint, Archer specializes in tools that help companies determine whether security policies they have in place are appropriate, Gabriel said.