Kaspersky Lab Turns Up the Channel Heat

As a provider of endpoint security software that relies 100 percent on the channel, Kaspersky Lab must ensure that its channel partners find value in selling its wares.

Toward that end, Kaspersky announced that it is rolling out a new lead-generation effort on behalf of partners that is being coupled with a variety of sales incentives. These include doubling partner sales payouts on all sales of the recently released Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business offering, as well as offering additional payouts ranging from $25 to $200 per deal for certified technical champions in a partner company that influences a particular sale.

Kaspersky intends to produce 8,000 leads this quarter on behalf of partners, said Gary Mullen, Kaspersky vice president of corporate marketing for North America. The goal, said Mullen, is to increase the number of leads Kaspersky generates on behalf of partners by 300 percent in the first quarter of 2013, compared with the same period in 2012.

In addition, Kaspersky has launched a revamped partner portal designed to make it easier for partners not only to access its marketing collateral, but also to co-brand that material.

“We’re doubling down on channel marketing,” Mullen said. “It’s a new lifecycle approach to marketing that allows us to better up-sell, cross-sell and fill the sales funnel.”

Kaspersky is making a strong push for Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business because it includes a management console that simplifies the management of updates and patches to applications. As security and systems management continue to converge, Kaspersky wants partners to encourage customers to standardize on a management console that all existing and future Kaspersky products will support.

Ultimately, whichever vendor owns the management console used by the customer has the inside track when it comes to selling additional products and services.

At a time when the number of security competitors is increasing, Kaspersky is trying to move upstream, in part to better differentiate itself from providers of free antivirus software. The challenge is that every security vendor is moving in the same direction, and every provider of IT management products is moving toward the same destination—just coming from the other direction.

Michael Vizard
Michael Vizard
Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight, Channel Insider and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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