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This week Trend Micro introduced to the channel a makeover to its hosted e-mail security platform that the company says will help partners add greater value to other overarching IT projects and satisfy customer’s growing appetite for this e-mail security delivery model.

Introduced on Monday, Trend Micro Hosted Email Security stands atop a brand new
technology  platform and will replace the company’s InterScan Messaging. Among other tweaks, Trend baked in its anti-malware
technology directly into the platform, says Eric Jensen, senior product marketing manager for Trend.

"We’re taking that core
technology and now incorporating that into hosted e-mail security," he says. "It’s particularly relevant for customers because malicious URLs  embedded in e-mail is the number one emerging threat that people are most concerned about, and when you look at the data, they also are least satisfied with how email security vendors are addressing that particular threat.

Trend is so confident in the revisions that it also built in stronger money-back provisions within its SLA, which can be a significant differentiator for channel partners looking to get noticed within the increasingly crowded hosted e-mail security marketplace.

According to Jensen, with this latest release Trend hopes to win over even more channel partners to the hosted email security selling mindset, even among those who may not necessarily see the fit right away."If I’m a channel partner, I’m making money on hardware and implementation and that kind of thing, so I might wonder why I should be interested in selling hosted because I might perceive that there’s no implementation and no margin there," he says. "The first thing to remember is that either your customer is going to buy it from you or they’re going to buy it from someone else. And TrendMicro is historically 100 percent channel as opposed to
Google or some of those other vendors out there. So there’s just sort of a self-preservation element there."

As Jensen points out, IDC analysts estimate that hosted email security market will grow 32 percent through 2012, so there’s no closing Pandora’s Box. Partners who recognize that and leverage this shift to their advantage will end up helping to drive value to their customers. This may mean using the lower-margin products such as Trend’s new release as an add-on to larger products.

"It is a very easy add-on sell for some typical projects that a VAR will be implementing with their customers," Jensen explains. "So, for example, adding in mail servers and then attaching hosted e-mail security and just saying, ‘Hey, look, we’re going to stop spam before it hits the network, it’s going to extend the life of your current solution. It’s essentially an insurance policy and you’re going to get more value out of what you’re buying from me right now."