Netgear primes VARs for SMB email and Web security appliance sales

Home and small business networking vendor Netgear uses existing Powershift partners, recruits new VARs to sell first security products.

SOHO-SMB networking company Netgear Inc. is pursuing an aggressive value-added reseller (VAR) strategy to gain market share in the information security space.

Netgear has announced its first three ProSecure security appliances using the email and Web security technology it acquired with the assets of CP Secure in a deal completed in December. The company will compete with vendors such as SonicWALL Inc., which once focused exclusively on SMBs but has expanded into the enterprise market, and Barracuda Networks Inc.

The security play is significant for Netgear and its partners. Working through retailers and its 18,000-member Powershift partner program, Netgear is known primarily for its wired and wireless networking gear. Its security-related sales have been limited to its ProSafe firewall-VPN lines and SSL VPNs.

Now, Netgear is training existing VARs who want to get into security sales for the higher profit margins from recurring subscriptions and recruiting new sales partners that specialize in security.

"Generally, VARs in our channel are very good at networking," said Jason Leung, Netgear's senior product line manager. "A number of them want to get into the security space, but may not be equipped because they lack expertise to do so."

Netgear, which retained CP Secure's 46-person engineering team, including former CEO Shuang Ji, offers training for sales reps and sales engineers to certify VARs to sell ProSecure appliances, backed by support, sales tools, collateral, etc.

The three appliances support up to 150, 300 and 600 concurrent users and progressively higher HTP and SMTP scanning rates. The street price for the boxes range from $1,000 for the STM150 to $4,000 for the STM600, Leung said. Figure an additional 20% to 40% each for the email and Web software modules, and 10% to 30% for annual maintenance.

The email security module includes antispam and antimalware; the Web security module provides antimalware, antiphishing and Web content filtering.

In addition to proprietary technology, ProSecure features Kaspersky Lab's antimalware and Commtouch's antispam and Web security software.

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