There is no shortage of network security services out there to resell, but traditional networking value-added resellers (VARs) with limited security practices are going to have trouble navigating uncharted waters without assistance. A new program in the Hewlett-Packard ProCurve channel, Reseller Assist, offers outsourced network security help so that VARs can tap into the market with limited investment.
"VARs have really had to become increasingly competitive, and one of the ways to do it is to get beyond selling the least expensive box," said Frank Cohen, ProCurve's worldwide director of strategic alliances. "[Security] is one of the areas where customers are in an environment that is highly complex … [but] for many traditional VARs to solve the problem, it requires a level of expertise they may not be prepared to handle."
Instead of spending time and money on security certification and training, ProCurve channel partners will be able to get and resell network security help -- ranging from full-scale deployments to 24/7 threat monitoring -- from Traversa Solutions and StillSecure, two network security services companies, Cohen said.
ProCurve channel partners can access the security services through the ProCurve One Network Ecosystem (ONE) website, but they can work directly with -- and pay -- the two security services companies to meet their individual needs.
"For our VARs, it allows them to continue to support and pursue customers but rely on these organizations [for their network security needs],"Cohen said. "To maintain profit and expand revenue growth, resellers must look for new opportunities and solutions to deliver within their existing customer base."
ProCurve channel partner Chad Williams, public sector manager of Matrix Integration in Jasper, Ind., said he would find little use for Reseller Assist, as his large Midwestern voice and data communications networking solutions provider has long had a network security practice. But he said there is a need for network security help for traditional network hardware resellers.
"It's definitely a different animal, and I wouldn't necessarily put it in the same sandbox as networking," Williams said. "We do want to be a one-stop shop, and that's how we present ourselves. I'm not going to say we can [meet a customer's security needs] 100% … every time, but typically we'll take our own components and pull together any [help from vendor] partners we need for it to work."
ProCurve channel program offers two kinds of network security help
StillSecure security monitoring offers a recurring revenue stream for VARs catering to midmarket customers, Cohen said. Meanwhile, working with Traversa can open doors to new business opportunities for ProCurve channel partners with a range of network security help.
The company's engineers work with a VAR's technicians to provide pre-sales support, solution assessment, deployment services and training, "as defined by each deal," Cohen said.
Through the program, ProCurve channel partners can rebrand the service as their own -- even if Traversa engineers are doing the heavy lifting -- or keep the Traversa badge. From there, the hope is that traditional network hardware resellers will be trained to deploy network security solutions on their own.
"The reseller's technical staff is trained during the solution definition and installation process so that they become competent to handle new opportunities as they arise," Cohen said. "The reseller sales people can sell new solutions with the confidence that the pre-sales design, assessment and deployment will go smoothly."
Mike Garnhart, account manager at Imagine Technologies Inc., a Denver-based unified communications VAR, said he didn't consider learning the ins and outs of network security when he joined the company eight years ago because it wasn't profitable at the time; but now he is receiving more calls from customers about it.
"With VoIP coming more and more into play with more and more customers, and multiple sites being linked to one main headquarters … [security] is becoming a huge issue for a lot of people," said Garnhart, a ProCurve partner who says he will consider using the Reseller Assist program. "It's become part of a full-fledged solution."
Let us know what you think about the story; email: Jessica Scarpati, News Writer