Panda Canada launches managed services program

Patti Smith

, national channel manager, Canada

As it nears the halfway point of its first year as a channel-only company, Panda Security Canada is courting a whole new group of solution providers.

The company this week took the wraps off its first-ever program for managed service providers, offering those who are using Panda’s -based antimalware products in a managed offering the ability to pay on a monthly basis for the licenses they’ve consumed with their end users.

“The market is really showing that are a way for partners to make more money and an opportunity for them to move into a different role,” said Patti Smith, Panda Canada’s national channel manager.

Both Smith and , CEO of Panda Canada, said the program is the biggest opportunity for growing the security company. And Smith describes security as a natural, and necessary, addition to any managed services offering, since ’ profitability often depends on things running smoothly.

“In 2010, we were tracking about 63,000 new threats a month through Panda Labs, and today, that’s about 73,000 per month,” she said. “If MSPs aren’t adding in a security solution as a standard part of their services, they put themselves at risk of having to do service calls at their clients’ locations.”

Smith said managed service providers can expect to see margins of about 50 per cent on the cloud security products, which can be entirely white-labeled at the MSP’s convenience. Of course, that margin may vary because the offering is included in a provider’s own managed services offering, and the MSP sets the pricing policy. By way of comparison, “traditional” Panda partners typically make between 25 per cent at the business partner level and 35 per cent at the Elite level.

The program will also be attractive to managed service providers for their ability to pay on a utility-basis, scaling the bill up or down as customer demands change.

Panda has its own free multi-tenant management console for managed service providers, giving partners a full dashboard of all their managed customers.

To qualify for the new program, partners will have to have a service technician and a salesperson trained on the Panda cloud offering. The training if free and available online, and should take less than a day to complete, Smith said.

Xavier said the company had launched MSP-centric programs in various European markets, including Spain, Portugal, Germany and France, but both Xavier and Smith stressed the new Canadian program was built with Canadian partners in mind.

“It’s really built around feedback from our partners,” Smith said.

Panda’s next priority is building out partnerships around the MSP offering. It already has relationships in place with Ottawa-based managed services software giants and , and the company has recently inked a distribution deal with fellow Ottawa-based . Interwork will be key to getting the message out and building Panda’s MSP channel.

Panda has been on Level’s roadshow for several weeks, and Smith said the company would be hitting the road itself, going cross-country to meet with new partners about the MSP program.

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