NASSAU, THE BAHAMAS – It took some time for it to go primetime, but Kaspersky Lab formally introduced its managed security service offering to the market at its North American Partner Conference here.
First introduced to channel partners at its Americas Partner Conference in the winter of 2011, the managed service edition offers MSPs the ability to offer Kaspersky’s endpoint security on a pay-as-you-go basis, with little to no upfront fee. The solution has been in beta with a select group of channel partners for some time now, but is starting to live. Partners at the Conference here will be given first crack at it, with other partners to get access in short order.
Some more thoughts on the launch after the jump, but first, this brief introduction from North American channel chief Chris Doggett.
“We’ve really coalesced around a model that’s very good for our partners,” Doggett said. “It’s a great way for them expand into managed services or branch out their business right out of the gate.”
The model is simple: Rather than partners (or customers) paying an upfront annual subscription license, the MSP model allows partners to pay on a monthly basis for the number of seats of endpoint and messaging security they manage for their customers. It’s up to the partner to set their own price, and decide on whether the offering is presented as a Kaspersky product, white-labeled, or anywhere in between.
“It’s a great margin play and it’s extremely stick,” said Kevin Krempulec, head of sales for Eastern North America and Canadian team leader. “Customers you’re managing like this aren’t customers you’re going to lose in a pricing war.”
From an administration point of view, it works just like Kaspersky’s other offerings – with all customers feeding back into a partner’s Kaspersky dashboard, including customers on Windws, Mac OS, and any of the mobile devices supported by Kaspersky, as well as virtualization customers through its partnership with VMware.
Krempulec said adding managed endpoint security speaks to the SMB managed services strongpoint of taking on most of a client’s IT challenges, of “them wanting to get back to running their core business.”
But just because Kaspersky hadn’t built it yet didn’t mean they hadn’t yet come. I talked to several partners at the show who were already offering managed endpoint security to their customers, doing so by spreading out the license cost (plus their own margins) over the course of a year. Those partners said the flexibility of a true month-to-month offering was appealing, but didn’t seem in any particular hurry to get their existing managed customers switched over to the new offering.