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Today, Ingram Micro Inc. introduced FirePower Network Threat Assessment services for channel partners that were developed together with Cisco. The new offering combines Cisco ASA hardware with the FirePower Network Threat Assessment tool.
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According to the distributor, the new security threat assessment allows IT service providers to identify network and endpoint security gaps for small and medium-sized business customers at an affordable price point.
"By bundling the two products, we can do true security assessments and true malware protection assessments. And, in conjunction with that, we have the malware protection suite that Cisco provides through their Sourcefire acquisition," said Greg Richey, director of professional and training services at Ingram Micro. Cisco purchased Sourcefire in October 2013.
FirePower Network Threat Assessment, available to North American service providers, hits on two key partner opportunities in 2016: the heightened demand for security, and the critical role of IT assessments for partners and their customers.
In order to sell the assessment, a partner must be an authorized Cisco reseller. Then, depending on how extensive a security offering a partner sells to a customer, there may be requirements for additional Cisco security certifications.
For partners interested in developing a security practice, but aren't Cisco certified, Ingram Micro can help them get certified and into the Cisco program. "We can help them become capable of delivering the assessment themselves, or they can buy the assessment today, and we'd do the delivery and provide the reseller the reports, PowerPoints and data from the assessment so that they can build a solution for their customer," Richey said.
Greg Richeydirector of professional and training services, Ingram Micro
If a partner wants to make the assessment services a part of its own portfolio, Ingram Micro will provide mentoring. "We'll make sure that they become competent and can scale into that business if they want to make that investment," he added.
Ingram Micro Professional Services began offering assessment services about two years ago. And today, the distributor's portfolio includes wireless network assessment, voice and video readiness assessment, infrastructure assessment, and now, the FirePower Network Threat Assessment services. Currently in the works is a network-troubleshooting assessment.
"It's a great way for partners to go to a customer and say, 'Let me understand more about what you're trying to accomplish, depending on what it is you want to do' -- i.e., cloud or mobility or security," Richey said.
The assessments provide customers a better way to understand what their environment looks like now, and it gives resellers data that they can take back to the customer to discuss what investments need to be made.
"It's a great way to go to market, because it handles the business outcome versus a partner going in and saying you need a switch, for example. And customers expect more than that from our partners; they want consulting," he said.
Assessments allow partners to mitigate their costs, extend their capability and enhance their ability to make better margins, Richey added. Partners can white label the assessments with their own brand, or tell customers that Ingram Micro is doing the assessment on their behalf.
Find out about other security services available to channel partners
Learn more about Cisco products and ACI security
Read an overview of Cisco's ASA firewall