Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

As businesses continue their rapid adoption and migration to cloud-based
services, Trend Micro is pledging to keep working with its solution providers
in the delivery and management of software-as-a-service accounts.

Demonstrating its commitment to working with channel partners on services,
Trend Micro announced its Hosted Security for the Channel program, a new
initiative to educate and enable solution providers on the mechanics and
benefits of working with a hosted provider in the delivery of SAAS security
applications.

According to Channel Insider’s 2009 Market Pulse Report, SAAS is second only
to its cousin managed services in terms of growth potential and profitability
for solution providers. Research firm IDC
says the SAAS marketplace will grow more than 40 percent over the next three
years.

Through program changes and new product offerings, Trend Micro says it’s
demonstrating its commitment to always working with channel partners on product
and services sales, and ensuring that its solution providers are not cut out of
the SAAS revenue stream.

“As the economy continues to struggle, SAAS is taking off quite nicely,
since customers want to extend the life of hardware and face the issues of
security that never decrease,” says Dan Woodward, director of marketing for SMB
at Trend Micro. “The partner is a critical component; they are the center of
the hub.”

Solution providers entering the SAAS marketplace are lured by the explosive
growth and fat margins. However, many are increasingly concerned at doing
business with a vendor that hosts the service and only utilizes the reseller
for customer contact. Some solution providers have grumbled that Trend Micro
was among the vendors that were denying recurring commissions and services
revenues to their partners after the initial engagement.

Trend Micro, the second-largest pure-play security vendor, denies any
assertion that it has acted in any way contrary to the interests of its
partners in security product or services sales. The addition of the SAAS
program is designed to help solution providers make as much—if not more—money
on services sales as they would with on-premises products, the company says.

“Trend Micro wants to continue down the path that has made us successful,
and that’s with our partners,” Woodward says. “Our partners will make more
money in year two and three and beyond as they do in the initial sale.”

As an industry, SAAS does not have enough history to establish a clear
baseline for subscription renewal rates. Trend Micro claims a 90 percent renewal
rate among its SAAS customers.

To facilitate account management, Trend Micro is incorporating management
functionality that provides partners with deep insights and intelligence on
their customers’ services activity and account status.

In addition, Trend Micro released a series of new service offerings tailored
for solution providers by different market segments.

  • InterScan Messaging Hosted Security is a SAAS-based version of its
    on-premises software product that provides traffic inspection to guard against
    e-mail-borne viruses and spam. The SAAS offering includes several management
    capabilities to give solution providers greater account management. Trend Micro
    also allows co-branding of this service.
  • Worry-Free Business Security Hosted, another cloud-based version of an
    existing on-premises product, is designed for small business, server-less
    environments.
  • Trend Micro SecureSite, a product initially introduced in October 2008, is an
    online tool that solution providers can use to scan customer Websites for
    security flaws and vulnerabilities.
  • Worry-Free Remote Manager is the free console for monitoring customer
    activities, security posture and generating reports.

Trend Micro says it will continue to add features and functionality to its
SAAS applications and management tools, ensuring that partners have the ability
to sell and use tools to their mutual benefit.

“We do that so our partners can continue to add value,” says Frank Mong,
vice president of marketing for SMB at Trend Micro.