The managed security market increasingly is turning to telecom channel partners to expand reach, and developer Authentium Inc. is no exception. The five-year-old company recently spotted opportunity in the voice agent sector as it rolled out its Extensible Service Platform (ESP) for enterprises. The company, which already partners with ISPs, network operators and managed security service providers, views agents who already service large businesses as a great fit for the new software, which does not require an IT background to sell, says Corey O’Donnell, vice president of marketing.
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The company is embarking on a channel-targeted ad campaign to show partners how selling ESP for enterprises can help them attain their monetary goals. O’Donnell says the company particularly is hoping to lure partners who have “watched their revenue shrink because good old-fashioned data access and telephone service to corporations is a very, very competitive industry that is considered a commodity, and it’s easy for somebody to switch to the next-fastest or nextcheapest carrier.”
He adds, “What we’re saying is, ‘Hey, did you make your bonus last year’ … If you’d like to [this year], take a look at what we think is the next stage of telecom.”
Managed security is a growing opportunity. According to analysts at Forrester Research, enterprises increased spending on security more than on any other network technology in 2006.
By selling Authentium’s ESP, partners typically make about 40 percent of the transaction value depending on the number of seats sold and whether Authentium has to provide the back-office services such as technical support. Authentium offers partners various contract levels and support in the form of instantly brandable document, Web and e-mail templates; a portal for each channel partner that contains upto- date information and materials; case-by-case financial incentives; and rebrandable e-store and management consoles.
ESP for enterprises, which only works with Windows-based devices, essentially aggregates options for antivirus, antispyware, firewall, data backup and restore, and other security software into one platform to protect endpoints from “the worst of what the Internet can do to your business,” O’Donnell says.
Think of ESP for enterprises as a sort of iTunes for security software. The built-in e-store lets an administrator buy licenses from multiple vendors (even competitors) through Authentium, all under one license. He or she then decides which software to allot to departments within the company, clicks a button, and ESP for enterprises downloads the specified packages to users’ PCs. This eliminates having to obtain security software from diverse vendors under separate licenses and contracts. Most IT administrators want to choose security software based on criteria, such as price, performance, features and brand, O’Donnell says. Offering different developers’ software through one interface takes away the headache of managing multiple relationships, contracts and deployment methods, he explains. “If you had one baseball game to play for $1 million, would you rather take the field with the Baltimore Orioles, or the All-Star team?” O’Donnell asks. Obviously, he says, one would choose the All-Star team. “Traditional enterprise software solutions offer one set of technologies, which may excel in some areas while being weaker in others. Our software lets the IT administrator pick the best in every category and assemble his own ‘All-Star’ team of enterprise software.”
|Authentium Inc. www.authentium.com
Gartner Inc. www.gartner.com