AT&T Alliance Channel Targets SMBs with Updated Security Solutions

Computer security

AT&T is working to make security solutions more available to small businesses via its Alliance Channel.

AT&T's Kevin LeonardKevin Leonard, vice president of the Alliance Channel, says SMBs are trying to understand how the growing number of widely publicized hacks might threaten them in the future.

“Small businesses know that there are risks. They know the risks are real,” Leonard told Channel Partners. “They know the risks are growing because they hear about them, but they’re not quite sure how [they] impact their business, or – more than that – what they can do about it.”

Leonard says partners in the Alliance Channel have access to essentially the full suite of AT&T security solutions and services, including network-based firewalls and the NetBond cloud connectivity solution.

“The answer is quite large in terms of … the portfolio of solutions that we have. We really have the full portfolio for our solution providers, and they can customize the right answer for that particular business need,” he said.{ad}

But the Alliance Channel has rolled out two specific changes for its partners. The first is a premises-based firewall solution, which existed previously but has been divvied up into three tiers: an essential, enhanced and premium solution.

“[Small business customers] depend on the internet. We all know this. It’s their lifeblood. It’s how they generate sales, communicate. If the internet goes down, their business is at risk,” he said.

Leonard says customization and pricing flexibility are at the heart of the change.

“We used to have a one-size-fits-all,” he said. “Sometimes small businesses felt that they couldn’t afford it. We now have a range of premises-based solutions to help them, starting from relatively inexpensive, going up to our premium.”

Leonard says the Alliance Channel will dedicate time to re-educating partners about the nature of DDoS attacks. The Alliance recently rolled out a reactive DDoS defense service, in addition to its normal DDoS service. The reactive service allows customers to customize their investment.

“If they recognize that they’re being attacked or if they think they’re being attacked, they can call AT&T, and on a reactive basis we can protect their premises and start blocking that traffic. What we’re doing is tailoring a lot of our offerings to the small business sector.”

Leonard calls the Alliance Channel the extension of the company’s direct sales force.

“We work with the Alliance Channel to expand distribution, to reach customers that we may not be able to reach with our direct sales force (as we big as we are), to reach into customers and into departments that perhaps we don’t have a relationship with,” he said.

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