Intelligent Tech Channels Issue 16 - Page 17

ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY cybersecurity skilled resources and do not have a fully functional cybersecurity department. Since security is no longer an option for many small and medium organisations, there is now an increasing demand for the managed services delivery model to meet their expectations. Does getting into the regional managed services business require a lot of investment from a channel partner? Is there a high entry barrier for a channel partner to get associated with managed services delivery? Dr Ali rejects this as a stumbling block. Trend Micro follows a back-to-back arrangement with a managed services channel partner and collects from them only when they collect. The initial software is provided by Trend Micro as the vendor’s investment into the partnership and is inbuilt within the business model itself. The business model for the managed services partner has been uniquely set up by Trend Micro in the region, to help them to grow and lift up. The challenge for the managed services partner is then left focused around their ability and skills to deliver the service. “The question is not about the money. The question is about how we cater to the business model in terms of investment. The business model for managed service partners in Trend Micro is pretty unique, such that it is a back-to-back business model. It does not really require a lot of upfront investment that comes from the partner to be able to cater to something like this, other than the point of expertise to be able to meet the requirements. We do not put pressure on them in terms of fulfilling business justifications when they themselves yet have not been able to do this” elaborates Dr Ali. Cloud service provider There are other facilitators initiated by Trend Micro that are helping the growth and delivery of managed services. Trend Micro provides cloud based licensing for those end-users wishing to move away from the on-premises based model. “Globally we are pretty much aligned with AWS and with Microsoft Azure on that. So, both of these huge platforms have their partners already. They are able to provide these services and implement the solutions on top of these platforms,” explains Dr Ali. The AWS and Microsoft Azure certified partners who are able to add Trend Micro Deep Security solution on top of their delivery platforms are included as Trend Micro, Cloud Service Provider partners. Trend Micro Deep Security works with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, VMware vCloud Air, and IBM SoftLayer, as well as with other public clouds that leverages technologies like OpenStack or CloudStack. “As part of our Cloud Service Provider programmes we are also benefiting these partners and we are also enabling them to be part of our ecosystem. They are extending security services as part of the overall portfolio of services they provide, through already existing AWS and Microsoft security systems,” adds Dr Ali. Globally tier-one distributors are also moving towards including cloud based security solutions inside their portfolio The system integrator is a very integral part in our strategy. These are our arms and legs in the country itself in dealing with customers and working with strategic partnerships that we have. by playing the role of cloud solution aggregators. Are the lower profit margins an inhibitor for channel partners to move towards this model? “The issue is not the margin as much as what is the direction of the market. The market is shifting towards this direction. I see that in the coming four, five years, cloud service providers and cloud providers will be the distributors,” reflects Dr Ali. He believes, going forward there will be a convergence of delivery models, which justifies the investments being made by distributors into these models. Trend Micro supports all these active points of channel engagement whether distributor, cloud service provider, managed service provider, or professional services. System integrators Another key channel partner inside Saudi Arabia are the in-country system integrators. Trend Micro is investing in the development of local skills and talent to fuel the growth of local system integrators. By enabling the growth of local system integrators, Dr Ali believes this will come full-circle and add value to the end-customer. “Th