While working on an article for the July issue of PHONE+, I have been talking to many companies about managed network security services — you know, firewall, antivirus, etc., as upsells to DSL and T1 access.
We have written about the topic in PHONE+, and we have even held seminars on it at previous Channel Partners Expo events.
It seems like a natural extension of services even for telephony agents who are not that interested in becoming data-savvy. The MSP (managed service provider) in most cases does the work. And, the available packages have been scaled down to meet needs of SMBs with ala carte offers that are as easy to understand and order from as any restaurant menu. The agent need only be able to explain how it works, secure the sale and collect the cash. This can bump a sale by a few hundred bucks a month and, in most cases, result in a residual bump as well.
However, it seems to me that there is a surprising lack of interest from partners sales organizations. Even after some of the high-profile network breaches, its appeal has not been elevated. During my interviews I mentioned this anecdotally and MSPs — by and large — agreed with my assessement. They are equally baffled and working on the problem.
One motivator might be VoIP and the requirements for secure connectivity for it to work reliably. Who wants their voice lines hacked or rendered useless by ne’er-do-wells or pranksters?
Maybe agents — starstruck by VoIP — finally will begin to see the value in managed security services when their prospects begin to balk at the risks and vulnerabilities of such an infrastructure.
To find out more about this opportunity, join me and Channel Partners Expo exhibitor ATX Communications for a discussion of the market opportunities and challenges on Wednesday, May 31, at 4 ET on Channel Partners LIVE! Web radio (see story).