Panda Unveils Cloud-Focused Facility

While it seems that everyone is playing in the cloud these days, Panda Security managed to jumpstart the competition early on. Now company executives aim to give its growing cloud presence a bit of a boost with the launch of its new Cloud Business Unit facility, designed to expand cloud services for its SMB customers and channel partners.

Located in Menlo Park, Calif., the Cloud Business Unit will initially focus on expanding the company's cloud presence in the U.S., in particular targeting SMBs with a focus on a niche between 100 and 250 seats.

The U.S. location was necessary to garner the right mix of talent to oversee the company's cloud business, executives said.

"The whole purpose was to dedicate more resources in an area where we're gaining a lot of traction," said Rick Carlson, Panda president of U.S. operations.

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Panda CEO Juan Santana said that the implementation of the Cloud Business Unit was a strategic decision that would forward the company's existing cloud-focused goals and provide a one-stop-shop for Panda MSPs.

"We want to have a more focused effort, having an additional unit only focused in the cloud, with extremely targeted messaging. It's very aligned with Panda products," said Juan Santa, Panda CEO. "What we are able to do is address specific needs of those clients and resellers."

Specifically, the Cloud Business Unit will consolidate cloud services, such as threat research and cloud security management, as well provide collateral materials and other cloud related business components. The facility also features a call center to create targeted cloud lead generation, which will be passed along to Panda's channel partners.

"Lead generation is obtained through very targeted messaging and very well-defined set of criteria, which makes the selling for the partner easier," Santana said.

Panda executives say that the new business unit will build momentum on Panda's cloud services, particularly its free Cloud Antivirus product, which experienced widespread popularity during the first year of its launch with upwards of 15 million downloads.

Altogether, Panda's cloud product line, which covers an array of products, including endpoint security, e-mail and Web threats, has experienced a sharp uptick over the last 12 months. Revenue from Panda's cloud business grew 65 percent from last year, now representing 15 percent of the company's total revenue. Executives say that they anticipate that number to grow to 20 percent by the end of 2011.

Spain-based Panda's cloud growth was accelerated, in part, after the company launched a free consumer cloud antivirus product in June. Partners said that the launch served as a marketing tool, expanding the company's global reach while increasing brand awareness.

Next: Panda Builds On Cloud Momentum

Executives said at the time that the performance and accuracy of the free antivirus product would generate enough awareness to inspire users to upgrade to one of Panda's business products, such as SMB-focused Panda Cloud Internet Protection, which it launched in April.

"We were giving it out for free as a way for consumers to get to know our technology and benefit," said Juan Santana, Panda CEO.

Meanwhile, that cloud growth gained further traction in the SMB with the Partner Console, which allowed its resellers to manage their clients' IT environment and renewals from a Web interface without being on-premise.

"There are MSPs and then there are all the rest. Everybody is embracing this," Santana said. "There's a fundamental change in the channel now. They need to provide those value added services and avoid being just resellers of boxes. That is one of the biggest differentiations that we have."