Check Point Pushes Subscription Package To Boost Partner Margins, Lower Costs For Clients

Check Point said its new subscription bundle provides customers with holistic security protection while reducing their total cost of operations.

The San Carlos, Calif.-based company said Infinity Total Protection could boost partner margins by 15 percent to 20 percent as compared with selling the individual network hardware, network software, endpoint, cloud and mobile components separately, said Pierre-Paul Allard, EVP of worldwide sales. It's very difficult for partners to avoid falling into a fulfillment role when selling point products, he said.

"When you're looking at everything on a piece-part basis, the competitive world around us has created price wars on every single deal we do," Allard told CRN. "We've simplified the way partners can sell, taking away the price point and making it much more of a value proposition."

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Selling the entire Infinity platform as a per-user, per-year subscription allows partner-delivered services and integration capabilities to take center stage, Allard said. Roughly a dozen Check Point customers have piloted Infinity Total Protection since it launched in beta in December, Allard said, with adoption expected to accelerate following this week's CPX 360 conference in Las Vegas.

Customers in the pilot program, meanwhile, enjoyed a 25 to 35 percent reduction in operating costs, compared with buying the piece parts and providing the software licenses and support on their own, Allard said. Having a full architectural play out of the gate allows customers to avoid the costs associated with ongoing management, licenses and operation of the security components, Allard said.

"If we're developing and promoting product sets and architectural views to customers, we need to price from an architectural standpoint," Allard said. "Customers are looking for consumption models, defining the application needs for each user, and achieving the architectural play that they're looking for."

Although Check Point offers the subscription on a per-year basis, Allard said most customers opt for at least a three-year deal, with some clients locking in a five-year subscription. Longer-term contracts offer more benefits, Allard said, particularly as it relates to price stability.

"It takes a while to put this together," Allard said. "They don't want to spend three months of every year negotiating a 12-month contract, and then do it again."

Check Point is willing to mix and match any combination of its threat prevention, network security, cloud security, mobile security and data protection capabilities into a client's Infinity Total Protection toolset, with the price of the bundle varying based on the numbers of users and the capabilities being deployed.

Allard believes customers will get more out of Infinity Total Protection if they're leveraging the cloud, mobile, management and orchestration capabilities and not just using it to procure firewalls or other core technology.

"The more you consume, the better it is for you," Allard said. "That's really where the advantage lies."

Check Point found during the pilot program that Infinity Total Protection still holds value for clients that aren't the size of General Motors or JP Morgan Chase, Allard said. Small and midsized businesses can just scale down the services or support provided to fit the needs of their company, he said.

Larger customers often opted to procure Infinity Total Protection for a small subset of their workers rather than making it a full architectural play across their whole employee base, Allard said. For instance, Allard said a European bank purchased Total Protection just for its financial markets team since they face the greatest security risk, and will apply the lessons learned there to the rest of the company.

"There's no customer too little or too big to absorb this," Allard said.

NTSec has discussed Infinity Total Protection with a couple of clients and is hoping to show that customers will benefit from the new consumption model, according to Bruno Nobrega, CIO of the Brasilia, Brazil-based solution provider.

The cost-benefit of Total Protection starts to make sense for NTSec clients that have at least 500 users, Nobrega said. Adoption of the all-inclusive offering will allow NTSec customers to leverage the full value of Check Point's platform, Nobrega said, rather than doing specific projects or buying next-generation firewalls on an ad-hoc basis.

The current process of pricing 30 different security items or modules for each enterprise or mid-market customer can be very complicated, according to Michael Yassin, president of Mississauga, Ontario-based Conexsys Communications. But Infinity Total Protection will allow Conexsys to avoid having to explain individual pieces of technology to the CFO and simplify the company's message to the marketplace.

"The customers will react very positively to a single price," Yassin said.