Microsoft has pledged to invest heavily in its security channel in 2007 and is keen to gain market share in the lucrative sector.
The software giant has claimed that membership of its Security Software Advisor (SSA) programme – which was launched in July – has rocketed to 1,700 resellers.
Karl Noakes, director of partner development at Microsoft, told CRN that he expects SSA membership to double this year.
“Security is a very important part of our portfolio,” he said. “We have a security competency and it is part of our infrastructure competency as well.
“We recognise the need to strengthen the line-up of capable partners. A lot of our existing infrastructure partners are leaving money on the table by not adding security to their portfolio. We are also actively seeking more partners to sell our products.”
Noakes added that the vendor has also launched a number of measures aimed at expanding SSA further, including increasing the SSA advisor fee rebate on licensing sales to 30 per cent (up from 20 per cent). It is also offering extra direct-marketing and business-development funds to its partners.
David Ellis, director of e-security at distributor Computerlinks, said: “Microsoft still has quite a lot of catching up to do with traditional security companies, but it knows that the best way to do this is through the channel and by partnering with both resellers and distributors.
“It also needs to be realistic from a business perspective: there is a big difference between providing a low-cost anti-virus bundle and implementing a full security solution into the enterprise.”
Steve Smith, managing director of specialist security VAR Pentura, said: “At the moment we are not really selling any Microsoft technology, but I am certain that this will change in the next year. The fact that Microsoft’s move into security has raised awareness of the technology among businesses is a good thing.”
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