Avnet Enters Managed Security Service BusinessBy Gina Roos | Print
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Avnet launched a managed security service program for channel partners in North America that helps them grow their security practices without a huge investment.
Technology distributor Avnet unveiled its managed security service program, Recon, for its partners in the United States and Canada. As part of Avnet's security specialist business unit, the service enables partners to offer customers 24x7x365 security monitoring and management, while improving their own security practice and margins.
Recon gives partners access to continuous threat detection and remediation through a unified security management system, according to Avnet. Key features include on-premise collection, correlation and analysis with cloud-based monitoring and remediation. It also provides assessment, discovery and networking capabilities. Options include host-based intrusion detection, file integrity monitoring, compliance reporting and vulnerability assessment.
Depending on the level of their security expertise and practice, partners can either offer Recon as an Avnet-branded offering or as their own branded service through a white-label option. Recon can be bundled with leading security technology products from providers such as Cisco, Checkpoint and F5.
"Some of our security partners are at different levels of growing a security business," says Alex Ryals, vice president of security and networking solutions, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas. "We're helping our partners build their security business."
The challenge for partners is that they don't have the capital to build that security service on their own, Ryals added. "Most of our channel partners see the need in their customer base, but it is quite an investment to build a physical security operations center (SOC) and invest in resources."
The new offering provides them with a way to offer comprehensive security solutions without draining their resources, he says.
Customers Were Key Drivers
A key driver behind the development of the managed security service was customers who purchased security products like Checkpoint Firewall or Cisco security from Avnet's partners that were also looking for help to manage and monitor their security environments. Another reason was the shortage of security professionals in the industry, which has put many businesses at a higher risk of a data breach.
Although primarily targeting small and midsize businesses, Ryals says there also are billion-dollar companies that have a lot of infrastructure in security and networking, but don't have much of a security staff and need help to monitor their environments and remediate breaches.
"The name of the game is finding the issue as fast as possible and remediating and fixing it as quickly as you can," Ryals says.
As part of Avnet's security offering, the distributor provides dedicated solutions specialists, sales support, training and enablement tools to help partners grow their security product and service sales. Partners also can leverage a slew of complementary security offerings such as deployment and integration services and DDoS protection.
In addition, Avnet offers a set of security assessments that can be used to start security discussions with customers. These discussions often follow with sales of security products, which can now be bundled with the Recon managed security service, Ryals points out.
For channel partners who have historically sold servers, storage, networking and software, and are starting to build their security practices, Avnet provides a training program for sales reps. Called Security 101/102/103, it is available through the self-service Avnet Knowledge Network portal.
"They can learn to speak the language of security so they are comfortable having that business discussion with the end user," Ryals says. "We provide them with collateral materials, videos, training—all in the Knowledge Network—so they can learn how to introduce the concept of a security managed service."
That way, when the discussion with customers results in product sales, channel partners will be prepared to add that higher-margin managed security service, he added.