As software as a service grows at a rapid pace, Trend Micro creates a channel program and releases products to ensure its partners that they will remain an integral part of the security vendor’s cloud strategy.
As businesses continue their rapid adoption and migration to cloud-based services, Trend Micro is pledging to keep working with its solution providers in the delivery and management of software-as-a-service accounts.
Demonstrating its commitment to working with channel partners on services, Trend Micro announced its Hosted Security for the Channel program, a new initiative to educate and enable solution providers on the mechanics and benefits of working with a hosted provider in the delivery of SAAS security applications.
According to Channel Insider’s 2009 Market Pulse Report, SAAS is second only to its cousin managed services in terms of growth potential and profitability for solution providers. Research firm IDC says the SAAS marketplace will grow more than 40 percent over the next three years.
Through program changes and new product offerings, Trend Micro says it’s demonstrating its commitment to always working with channel partners on product and services sales, and ensuring that its solution providers are not cut out of the SAAS revenue stream.
“As the economy continues to struggle, SAAS is taking off quite nicely, since customers want to extend the life of hardware and face the issues of security that never decrease,” says Dan Woodward, director of marketing for SMB at Trend Micro. “The partner is a critical component; they are the center of the hub.”
Solution providers entering the SAAS marketplace are lured by the explosive growth and fat margins. However, many are increasingly concerned at doing business with a vendor that hosts the service and only utilizes the reseller for customer contact. Some solution providers have grumbled that Trend Micro was among the vendors that were denying recurring commissions and services revenues to their partners after the initial engagement.
Trend Micro, the second-largest pure-play security vendor, denies any assertion that it has acted in any way contrary to the interests of its partners in security product or services sales. The addition of the SAAS program is designed to help solution providers make as much—if not more—money on services sales as they would with on-premises products, the company says.
“Trend Micro wants to continue down the path that has made us successful, and that’s with our partners,” Woodward says. “Our partners will make more money in year two and three and beyond as they do in the initial sale.”
As an industry, SAAS does not have enough history to establish a clear baseline for subscription renewal rates. Trend Micro claims a 90 percent renewal rate among its SAAS customers.
To facilitate account management, Trend Micro is incorporating management functionality that provides partners with deep insights and intelligence on their customers’ services activity and account status.
In addition, Trend Micro released a series of new service offerings tailored for solution providers by different market segments.
* InterScan Messaging Hosted Security is a SAAS-based version of its on-premises software product that provides traffic inspection to guard against e-mail-borne viruses and spam. The SAAS offering includes several management capabilities to give solution providers greater account management. Trend Micro also allows co-branding of this service.
* Worry-Free Business Security Hosted, another cloud-based version of an existing on-premises product, is designed for small business, server-less environments.
* Trend Micro SecureSite, a product initially introduced in October 2008, is an online tool that solution providers can use to scan customer Websites for security flaws and vulnerabilities.
* Worry-Free Remote Manager is the free console for monitoring customer activities, security posture and generating reports.
Trend Micro says it will continue to add features and functionality to its SAAS applications and management tools, ensuring that partners have the ability to sell and use tools to their mutual benefit.
“We do that so our partners can continue to add value,” says Frank Mong, vice president of marketing for SMB at Trend Micro.