McAfee has launched a new Partner Security Service (PSS) to help resellers provide small businesses with security monitoring and maintenance services.
The security software vendor has based PSS on its longstanding retail reporting tool, ASAP, currently being renamed Managed Service.
McAfee Asia-Pacific marketing director, Allan Bell, said it had decided to open the ASAP product to its reseller base to allow them to employ the reporting tool for outsourced security services.
PSS uses a Web-based console to enable the reseller to view all of a customer’s networks and security set-ups via single dashboard. Perth-based ISP, Your ASP, is providing the network operations centre for A/NZ, Bell said.
“Resellers will be able to tell if the customer is up to date with their security – they will be able to see any known Microsoft or IE vulnerabilities for example,” he said.
Additionally, the reseller could be proactive by identifying where security problems might occur, Bell said.
“They’ll be able to spot any hardware and software upgrade opportunities," he said. “Resellers can use PSS to charge for additional security services; they could bill for the monitoring of the customer’s network, or for the work related to upgrading security. Some of our resellers are looking at PSS as a way to lock in customers as well.”
Bell said 120 resellers had subscribed to the beta PSS program, ranging from cornerstore operations to national reseller chains. He said PSS was aimed at small business customers with about 10 users.
“Often, these customers don’t have the time or the skill set to look after their own security program,” Bell said. Instead, most relied on the reseller to fill the IT gap, he said.
“They supply PCs, updates for the operating system; if the customer has any problems they generally go to the reseller,” Bell said. McAfee is now offering 20 free licenses for ASAP to each reseller who joins the PSS program.
The vendor will also be running a series of seminars across Australia and New Zealand in August and September to educate resellers.