Cloud-based security vendor Zscaler has taken a pop at Blue Coat and Websense's channel margins after launching an end-user promotion targeting its two appliance-based rivals.
Zscaler is offering six months' free service to customers of Blue Coat and Websense who switch to its cloud-based web security wares before 31 August 2013.
The vendor, which operates 100 datacentres globally, argued that Websense and Blue Coat customers are "shackled to earthbound security appliances that hog resources" and require added investments in MPLS, bandwidth and backhauling services.
In contrast, Zscaler claims its Direct-to-Cloud Network eliminates the need for branch office appliances and MPLS networks, and can cut traffic backhauling costs by more than 80 per cent.
The promotion includes free mobile security and single sign-on via Zscaler's partnerships with Ping, Okta and One Login.
Craig Stewart, vice president of EMEA at Zscaler, stressed that the vendor's 150 EMEA partners are all eligible to participate in the promotion and urged more Blue Coat and Websense resellers to join its ranks.
"Both Websense and Blue Coat have been reducing partner margins for support and renewals so we would encourage partners who are not happy with that to talk to us," he said.
Stewart claimed there are three reasons customers are moving security into the cloud.
"Firstly, they are moving away from appliances, which aids us as we go after people providing appliances. Secondly, our direct-to-cloud strategy enables a lot of large companies to save a bunch of money as they do not have to backhaul all their traffic – and in the current environment, that is important. And thirdly, there's the mobile piece: how do you secure people when they are not only outside the office but also using smartphones and tablets?"
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