Channel missing security's big picture

Channel missing security's big picture

Resellers are ignoring some of the most lucrative aspects of the IT security equation, Computer Associates claimed last week. Significant product and service opportunities are being missed as a result.

According to one of the software vendor's senior executives, there is too much focus on defensive components such as firewall appliances and antivirus products and too little on access and management solutions.

Chris Wilson, general manager of CA's Australian security division, said the defence side of data security is "well covered and well understood" by the channel but "a far more holistic approach" is required.

The vendor sells 18 different security products in its eTrust range in three separate categories: defence, access and management solutions.

"Defence is just one of the areas resellers should be focusing on in regards to their customers' security," Wilson said. "Most of the 6,000 or so resellers in Australia sell defence but the biggest opportunity for them is in taking it several steps further.

"Secure access and managed security services are areas where customers of all sizes can't do it themselves. We are building a managed services solution and will be looking to the channel to partner with us."

According to Eugene Dozortsev, assistant VP eTrust research and development at CA's Melbourne (Richmond) security R&D centre, the vendor's 18 security products are "very scalable" and full of opportunity for the channel.

"We don't talk about technology or size of customer, we talk about what you have to protect," Dozortsev said. "Security is all about the value of digital assets. It is all about customisation and flexibility and that is where channel partners excel."

Computer Associates confesses to selling much of its enterprise security solutions direct, mainly because large customers are only confident dealing with trusted names. They require their supply partners to manage the solution as well as supply it.

"Security has become a business issue rather than a technology issue," Wilson said. "There are a number of organisations in the channel that do have the knowledge and experience to deliver the complete security solution, but it does take a significant investment.

"One of the biggest challenges we see in the channel is that most organisations think they can sell complete security solutions -- in reality, very few can."

Wilson listed companies such as SecureNet, 90 East and Citadel as examples of managed security partners it is dealing with successfully.

Computer Associates is confident it is well positioned to continue expanding its strong market share in the increasingly crowded security solutions space. The channel is central to those goals, Dozortsev claimed.

"Most security vendors focus purely on defence," Dozortsev said. "We differentiate ourselves in the marketplace because we can deliver the holistic approach with products for not only defence but also access and management."

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