Branch offices open security doors

Branch offices open security doors

Branch operations represent an untapped opportunity for the channel, and security resellers are in the best position to capitalise on sales, according to Symantec Australia's managing director, John Donovan.

"It is a very large and untapped market," said Donovan. "And because of its regional nature, we are very dependent on the channel."

Recognising a market for more affordable IT security, Symantec has introduced a family of firewall/VPN appliances to Australia. The full application inspection capability found in the vendor's enterprise products has been pared down to appliances that provide a firewall, VPN and intrusion detection, as well as network switches and routing capabilities in a single device.

"Production came out of the feedback we received from resellers and customers," explained Symantec's product director, Barry Cioe. "It didn't make sense to fulfill the security needs of a small business with a complex solution that cost $20,000. We have addressed that complexity by making most of the functions work out of the box and the benefit is a lower-priced product."

Typical set-up time is less than three minutes, according to Cioe. The product also includes a DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) server so organisations can run internal LANs from five to 40 users. Businesses can also use an external modem with the device so there is always some level of connectivity, even if broadband connectivity is interrupted. The 200 series also includes load balancing.

The product is aimed at two key markets -- small and medium businesses and the branch operations of larger enterprise customers. Both markets require the customer service expertise of the channel, according to Donovan.

"These segments are very focused on relationships and Symantec has traditionally been very reliant on its channel partners," he said.

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