Panda Embraces Channel with New Security-as-a-Service Solution

New offering allows channel partners to provide a cost-effective security service to the SMB space. Vendor is preparing a rollout in North American market.

November 12, 2008

Alison Diana

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Anti-virus vendor Panda Security is aggressively courting the channel with its Panda Managed Office Protection 5.02 Security-as-a-Service solution for small and midsize businesses or enterprises’ branch offices seeking a cost-effective alternative to on-premise security software.

To simplify MSP and VAR services, the new solution features centralized management of multiple clients’ anti-virus protection on one Web console. “Security as a Service is, I believe, going to be the wave of the future. All companies are now looking at ways to reduce and eliminate costs that are unnecessary, which would include infrastructure,” said Ryan Sherstobitoff, chief corporate evangelist at the Glendale, Calif.-based vendor.

Since security is outsourced to MSPs and solution providers, clients can eliminate dedicated servers, either reducing their hardware base or enabling them to use an existing server for other tasks, he said. “The idea here is to eliminate the management console and the management infrastructure and provide that in the cloud as hosted infrastructure. It’s immediately giving a re-gain to the company where they can take existing servers and dedicate them to more mission-critical applications,” said Sherstobitoff.

Panda Security’s proprietary cloud computing technology, called Collective Intelligence, delivers proactive malware protection and maximizes malware detection capabilities, while minimizing the resource and bandwidth consumption of protected systems by automatically detecting, correlating and responding to malware found across an entire network of PCs, versus locally, according to Panda.

Long-time security MSP AAAntivirus.com began offering Panda’s solution about four months ago, said Roy Miehe, CEO and president of the Campbell, Calif.-based Panda partner, which sells solutions to customers ranging from home users to enterprises. Having met with Sherstobitoff and other high-level Panda executives during a conference hosted by Panda’s exclusive distributor, Tech Data Corp., Miehe decided to put the web-based solution through its paces.

“I ran it in my own test labs and tried to blow it up. Techs typically load first, read second,” he said. “I’ve embraced it. It is the wave of the future.”

In only four months, AAAntivirus sold between 6,500 and 7,000 seats, said Miehe. “If Panda will allow me to play, my goal in one year is another 3 million seats under my control. I already have 2.5 under my control using various products. I think I can increase this by a couple of million, minimum, in a year. But I need them to play with me. I keep driving them.”

For instance, Panda is allowing MSPs to brand the service with their own logo, name, headers and packaging, according to the vendor. To date between 20,000 and 30,000 clients in Spain – Panda’s home base – are using the customized version, Sherstobitoff said. “The custom branding is what makes it unique,” he added. “There’ll be different tiers of VARs: Those that resell it like they do McAfee and Symantec today, and those that want to custom-configure it.”

But this is not yet readily available in the United States, and Miehe hopes that facet of the program will begin soon. “I think I’m going to be one of the first to get the [customizable] change to the console,” he said. “You’ve got to step up to the plate. I’m dealing with peoples’ servers, their workstations, their concerns, so if I can name-brand it, that will help even more.”

TAGS: security,server,malware,antivirus,Panda Security

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