As Kaspersky Lab continues its transformation from antimalware vendor to a more full-service security provider, it will be seeking out new partners, particularly for its new services and industry-specific offerings.
In addition to the expansion of its footprint in enterprise security through last year’s launch of Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business and expanding focus on securing virtualized environments, Kaspersky has introduced a number of new products and services for particular enterprise challenges. For example, it’s targeting a new Kaspersky Fraud Prevention offering at large banks and other financial institutions, and it’s also targeting critical and industrial infrastructure. At the same time, it’s ramping up services both delivered internally and through partners.
“These are specialized products and in these cases, the typical target customer is served by a small subset or niche within the partner community that fits that profile, and in some cases, those are folks who are outside our current partner community,” said Chris Doggett, managing director of Kaspersk Lab North America. “These are new partners for us in many cases, and it’s going to involve some recruitment.”
For example, the company will be seeking out partners with experience selling at the headquarters level to global financial institutions for its new Fraud Prevention offering. Kaspersky is still developing its products and services for the critical infrastructure space, but again, it will likely turn to new types of partners for this space.
“We will need to add to our partner population around specialized integrators who work with things like SCADA systems,” Doggett said.
Recruitment in both efforts is ongoing, he said.
The company has shown some degree of flexibility to innovativeness in working with new partners, recently signing a deal with Hypertec to have the solution provider power the Russia-based vendor’s access to opportunities in the Canadian federal government market, for example.
At its partner conference earlier this year, the company outlined its plans to let solution providers deliver as well as sell more services. Under a new Certified Service Provider program, a subset of its partners will have access to the same services its own services bench have been delivering.
“Services have been expanding rapidly for us, and we’re going to market with services not only sold but provided by partners,” Doggett said.
That launch came after a three-month ramp up of attention to its own services offerings, one that saw the company do in a quarter more services business than it had in the whole year before, proving more demand for its offerings than its own limited internal services bench can provide. Ultimately, whether it’s reselling Kaspersky-branded services, or developing the capability to deliver the services themselves, Doggett said all Kaspersky partners should be in the professional services game.
“If partners are already delivering professional services, and want to deliver on their books, that’s great with us,” he said. ‘We have no preference as to how the services are delivered. We just want services delivered with as many sales as possible.”
Doggett said there’s enough capacity in the channel currently to meet the short-term demand for those services, but that the company is going to need additional partners in the long run, as selling its offerings with services wrapped around becomes the default way of doing business.
“Our goal in the long term is to get professional services and premium support attached to every sale,” he said. “We’re in a subscription business, and if customers get value out of our products, they’re going to be long-term customers.”