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Kaspersky launches managed security service provider program

New program offers low barrier to entry and allows partners to wrap-in own services and support

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Security vendor Kaspersky Lab used its North America partners conference to launch its new managed security service provider program, following a pilot program that included several Canadian partners.

The program was first announced at last year’s Americas partner conference and has been tweaked following a pilot program that included several Canadian partners. Now, the Kaspersky Managed Service Provider program is ready for prime-time said Chris Doggett, vice-president of channel sales for Kaspersky North America.

Designed to be hosted in a partner data centre, Doggett said it can be deployed remotely into the customer environment so the partner doesn’t have to physically go to the customer location. He added they’ve also eliminated the barrier to entry around cost.

“They don’t need an up-front investment; it’s a pay as you go model as you consume licenses,” said Doggett. “Partners provide level one and two support and can provide value-added services such as monitoring, management, device configuration and compliance reporting.”

It’s all enabled through the Kaspersky management console, allowing partners to provide a seamless experience to customers. Pricing and margin, added Doggett, is up to partners. They pay a monthly fee per license consumed, and the license provisioning fee is just $1.

“Partners have total latitude. They pay a level price for the technology, decide what services they want to offer and charge what they see fit,” said Doggett. “It’s a great opportunity to put value-added services into the equation and create a profitable business for themselves. Services and support is their business, ours is to provide the software.”

Kevin Krempulec, vice-president of sales for North America East and Kaspersky’s lead in Canada, added Canadian partners have been asking for this kind of model for some time, where an MSP can determine how much value they want to add and price the solution accordingly for their local marketplace.

“Canadian partners have had a lot of input into what the program looks like now,” said Krempulec.

Agentless virtualization security

It was announced about a month ago, but Kaspersky’s new agentless offering for VMware-based virtualization deployments is also getting a high profile at the partner conference, with senior VMware executives set to deliver a keynote. Kaspersky said it decided to work with VMware as it’s the dominant vendor in the space, and offered the best configuration options for integrating security and still maintaining the benefits of a virtual infrastructure.

Doggett said while there’s some overlap between the VMware and Kaspersky partner communities, there’s many partners that aren’t already working with both so they’re putting training and support in place to drive that learning.

“It’s a great opportunity for partners that are trusted to provide virtualization guidance to introduce what customers need to secure their virtual environments,” said Doggett. “For our exiting partners there’s the opportunity to have plenty of cross-sell and up-sell in terms of product and service. Where they may have been doing virtualization with some clients before but not security, now they can do security for them too.”

Krempulec added while virtualization is a maturing growth market, many virtual customers are just now beginning to turn their minds to security.

“Many customers haven’t secured their virtual environments, and now they’re starting to look at how to harden them down,” said Krempulec. “It’s a good opportunity for partners to get that discussion underway.”

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN .