Cisco security strategy involves high margins for partners

SAN FRANCISCO – Nothing motivates the channel more than cash. And, Cisco Systems in an attempt to position the company as a top end security solutions vendor are offering 30 points of margin on security deals.

Cisco worldwide channel chief Wendy Bahr told solution providers at the Cisco Partner Summit that “security margins matter”. All totaled when you add up rebates, new account breakaway bonuses, front end and back end margins it can earn a channel partner 30 per cent margins. Another Cisco source told CDN the company expects to surpass that after the release of AMP for EndPoints, which combines prevention and detection technology enabling customers to remove protection-only security solutions.

Under the Cisco ONE platform, the channel can introduce a new way for customers to buy and deploy AMP for EndPoints. With Cisco One, customers can obtain predefined solutions that fit their environment or choose to have a custom-built one as a single transaction cost.

AMP for Endpoints also offers a response area to deal with malware or other threats and this is being offered in a SaaS model that is managed in the cloud by either the channel partner or an internal resource.

Also the Cisco One Advanced Security platform provides licenses for threat defense on the data centre, WAN and policy for access.

According to Cisco, more than 2,000 global partners are serving customers this way with security.

Steve Wells, vice president of solution provider Dyntek, said Cisco’s security portfolio is now broad enough for a security focus channel partner such as Dyntek.

“It’s very easy to say Cisco is not a security company like a Barracuda Networks or CheckPoint Software, but they do have a place now. And, they are emphasizing the strength of partners that have a focus on security,” he said.

Dyntek has access to many segments of Cisco’s security portfolio, according to Wells and the experience is similar to dealing with a security-only vendor. “This access allows an organization like us to specialize with Cisco and yes we sell routers too,” he added.

The Cisco One predefined solutions was also applauded by Wells. “Historically, Cisco is a one-size fits all software and maintenance deal. But in cyber security that’s not the way they consume these solutions. There is no 100 per cent box to buy. To now be able to pick and choose is valuable to a customer. This is a good way to positioned the business value. We can now divide and conquer the needs of the customer,” Wells said.

Cisco Canada channel chief Mark Collins told CDN that there is more pressure on Cisco in the security industry. And, the networking giant has tried to address that with security focused acquisitions such as SourceFire and more recently with CloudLock.

“Cyber-attacks are happening all over the world. With a hybrid cloud direction, we are going to provide security on the infrastructure layer because customers want to know where their apps are and are they secure in the data centre or in the cloud,” Collins said.

From a channel partner perspective, Collins added that the channel community can provide those safe environments for customers who have IP moving around and be able to secure a company’s assets and information.

“We need to go faster with this. We will not go faster than the appetite of the customer or the CIO on how they want to take on risk. But we want to give them the confidence to take on that risk and accelerate the adoption,” Collins said.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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