‘Challenge Microsoft’, held in London, was attended by representatives from the software giant, security VARs and Computerlinks. It allowed resellers to voice their concerns over Microsoft’s future security strategy.
Speaking to CRN, David Ellis, director of e-security at Computerlinks, said: “Nine years ago we were selling TCP/IP stacks and browsers, but Microsoft started bundling those in free and cut off our revenue streams. That is when we made our move into the security market.
“However, now there is concern among channel players that Microsoft will commoditise the security market and take profit opportunities away from resellers. This round table event allowed Microsoft to show that it understands resellers’ concerns.”
Ellis added that the vendor will play a big part in the security space over the coming years, and resellers should “ignore Microsoft at their peril”.
“Microsoft was pretty honest at the event and knows that if it wants to succeed, it needs to work with the channel,” he said. “It knows its strengths are not in hardware manufacturing and delivery. This is why it is partnering with other vendors such as Network Engines on an OEM basis.”
Robin Schuff, service director at infrastructure provider Ultima Business Solutions, said: “There is definitely an opportunity for partners, particularly with its Windows Vista and migrations to Exchange 2007, and in ensuring customers have secure environments around that.”
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