Security vendor Trend Micro is offering VARs a way to streamline their monitoring of client sites in the form of a free tool for partners called the Worry-Free Remote Manager.

The Web-based system, available next month, enables VARs to aggregate monitoring information for all their customers on a single Web-based dashboard, allowing the streamlining of all such information on a single screen. Previously, VARs had to view the information of each customer separately.

“It’s designed to look like the Web console within our existing product, so there’s no training curve for VARs,” said Jon Clay, product marketing manager for Trend Micro’s SMB segment. And VARs can still use the existing non-Web-based product.

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The only requirement for using the Web console is that VARs must register as partners, and they must install a small agent at the customer site. Clay said the installation is a simple, three-step process.

Because it is Web-based, partners can use the console to monitor, deploy commands and generate reports from any Web-equipped PC. Trend Micro said that partners retain complete customer ownership and complete control over product configurations.

The free tool is part of a handful of planned enhancements to the Cupertino, Calif., company’s partner program.

Trend Micro has also rolled out an SMB Support Portal that offers a technology information site for both partners and customers. The site offers the most recent documentation, builds, patches and service packs for customers. It also features a forum community for Trend Micro partners. The site is available now and accessible from the Trend Micro main Web site.

“Our partners tend to share information and ideas, so the forum gives them an opportunity to do that inside our network,” Clay said.

The company also pointed out that its Client Server Security and Client Server Messaging Security solutions 3.6 for small and medium-sized businesses are the first SMB security solutions from a major vendor awarded Microsoft Vista certification.