Virus protection. It's an old market that represents a wealth of new opportunities for start-up players such as Trend Micro, which set up its Sydney premises in Sydney in February this year and has its sights on building channel partnerships.
And according to Kenny Liao, Trend Micro's Australia and New Zealand manager, there's plenty of money to be made by resellers that are looking to provide antivirus solutions to customers that span an entire network.
"While stand-alone antivirus products sold in Harvey Norman have proved popular with customers looking to protect a small number of PCs, the real opportunities exist at sites where Internet and intranet applications are deployed and heavily used," Liao said.
Liao suggested that while competing products from Symantec and McAfee were well established and could bank on their brand awareness, Trend Micro differentiates itself by offering antivirus solutions that scour everything from the firewall to groupware applications.
Trend Micro's product range includes InterScan VirusWall, which protects the LAN from e-mail and Internet viruses; ScanMail, which scans Notes, MS Exchange, MS-Mail and cc:Mail messages; Server-Protect, which attempts to secure executable files on the server and; PC-cillin, a desktop antivirus offering.
But, Trend admits it can't ship products to end users without the aid of fully-trained resellers and distributors who can provide the added value of technical support and consulting services. The vendor has already set-up the Trend Security Partner program for resellers intending to enter the market.
"Customers like to deal with a value-added reseller that has close ties with a vendor," Liao said.
"But, we also rely heavily on the channel to provide the extra sales and marketing muscle that we need to increase our exposure and compete with the Symantecs and McAfees."
Trend already has secured some high-profile end-user reference sites such as BMW Australia, SouthCorp and the Sydney Opera House, while Powercorp, Australian Software Innovations and Southmark Computers in New Zealand have been secured as national distributors.
A total of 15 resellers have also been signed up including Software Spectrum, and WA-based Lotus Notes integrator FishTech and Trend expects to increase this base to 30 by Christmas.