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Configuring network devices to implement security policies can easily turn into a nightmare.

Between routers, switches, intrusion prevention systems and an array of other equipment with brands such as Cisco Systems, Symantec and Juniper Networks, wading through the lines of code to make these devices conform to the same security policy is nothing short of a test of patience and endurance.

What if you could set security protocols from a central dashboard and, instead of having to modify numerous lines of code, move your mouse for simple drag-and-drop commands?

You can, according to Solsoft, of Mountain View, Calif., the developer of network security policy management software that automates the process of setting network security policies.

“We’re trying to streamline the security management process,” said Dominick Lionetti, vice president of sales at Solsoft.

Solsoft’s Policy Server gives IT administrators and security auditors a centralized interface to design, approve, enforce, and audit rules and policies across various devices on a network. With Policy Server, customers can show proof of compliance with government regulations on data protection.

The software tackles not only a technology need, but also an issue of resources. Security management requirements put a strain on IT staffs that have to manage, implement and maintain the policies, said Lionetti.

Solsoft estimates the market for its technology at $300 million to $400 million, based on calculations that take into account sales of the network equipment for which the vendor’s software centralizes security management.

But the vendor has concluded it cannot reach the market alone, so Solsoft is calling on VARs and integrators to get the technology in place. “We don’t want to invest in a very large direct sales team,” Lionetti said.

Solsoft’s experience is far from unique. Vendors typically turn to the channel after a few years in the market, realizing they can forgo the expense of building a direct sales force by tapping solution providers already connected to the end-user accounts they want to target.

Lionetti said the company is seeking solution providers with security expertise, hoping to enlist about a dozen or so within a year. To find some of the partners, Solsoft is seeking recommendations from vendors such as Cisco and Juniper for VARs and integrators with the right expertise.

“We’re trying to be selective because this is not a commodity product,” he said.

Solsoft has launched a three-tier partner program that offers 30 percent discounts on its software to Silver-level partners, 35 percent to Gold partners and 40 percent to partners at the Platinum level.

VARs can earn margins of 30 to 40 percent from selling Solsoft’s technology, said Lionetti.

One partner, New York-based NH&A, is already marketing the software to its customers. NH&A was introduced to Solsoft at a recent security trade show and, after evaluating the software, decided to do business with the vendor, said Norman Hirsh, president of the solution provider.

Christian Rodriguez, a managing partner at NH&A, said Solsoft’s ease of use in implementing security technologies across networks proved very appealing to the solution provider.

“It’s really a unique product,” he said. “I had never come across any software that provides the features Solsoft offers.”

It’s the type of software that was long overdue, considering the hodgepodge of brands and devices that make up the typical IT network these days.

“I don’t tend to see a network that just consists of Cisco firewalls, for example,” he said. “It just becomes one big mess for an administrator.”

Lionetti said Solsoft is targeting small and midsize businesses, as well as state, local and federal agencies through its channel partners.