Virtualization, Managed Services Top Kaspersky Partner Agenda

With roughly 175 security partners gathered this weekend in the Bahamas, the Kaspersky North America Partner Conference kicked off Friday with details about virtualization and managed services strategies.

"This is a great opportunity for us to get together with our strategic partners in North America," said. Chris Doggett, vice president of Channel Sales at Kaspersky. "We will celebrate our combined success with them, do a little bit of reflection on the past year, do some networking, and share our roadmap and our plans for the future. Most of these partners do a significant amount of transactions with us annually, so it's important for them to know where we're going.’

One of the major themes is expected to be centered on virtualization and the company's alliance with VMware.

’We've been in the virtualization space with endpoint security and anti-malware solutions for about a year now, and we started initially with an agent-based solution,’ Doggett explained. ’We recently released our agentless solution, which is something that is tightly integrated with VMware and vShield, and it allows partners who do both security and virtualization to combine their two competencies and provide a really well-rounded solution for customers.’

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Doggett sees the Kaspersky agentless solution as a means of fusing together expertise between security and virtualization, often times bringing together separate staffs, at either the customer level or the channel partner level.

’And now they can come back and say that they can help protect against malicious code, advanced persistent threats, run-of-the-mill viruses, etc. because those environments have become very critical for these customers," Doggett said. "So they can build upon their existing client base, which is a lot easier than finding new ones. And the opportunity for additional services is significant."

NEXT: Doggett Discuss New MSP Program

Another key topic of discussion will be a new managed services provider program, which is just coming out of pilot phase. The emphasis here is on easy deployment, remote manageability, and remote monitoring, based on capabilities added to the existing management console.

’Unlike some other solutions, they don't have to go out and do a lot of hands-on work at the customer site in order to get this up and running,’ added Kaspersky's Doggett. ’That's important for managed service providers because they are selling an entire solution, of which our product is part of the solution. And for them to go out and spend time on the ground erodes their profitability. It also allows them to do this and a lot of small to medium environments, which is where a lot of opportunity resides.’

Much of the discussion will focus on the licensing model, compensation thresholds, and low cost of authorization. ’We've lowered the barrier to entry on the not only on the implementation side but also on the licensing side,’ Doggett said.

The conference will also outline the impacts of an expanded channel support staff and drill down into various enhancements to the partner program, including CRM/PRM upgrades designed to make processes faster and more scalable.

According to Kaspersky’s data, attendees at the event represent more than 750,000 North America customers, 4,900 sales reps and 1,500 technical professionals. About 50 percent of the partners have a regional focus, 45 percent national and 5 percent local. Most have either a security focus or a specific security practice.