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Security vendors reaching out to MSP community

One of the themes of InfoSec is the ongoing move by vendors to appeal to the managed service provider community

One of the continuing themes at InfoSec is the welcome vendors are making for those managed services providers that are looking to add security tools to their portfolio.

With the number of managed security service providers (MSSPs) increasing most vendors have already added programmes and certifications to their channel programmes to attract and support those partners.

Those efforts are continuing and the phrase MSSP is one being used by most of the vendors that have booked stands at the London event in Olympia.

WatchGuard has been actively courting MSPs and is continuing to expand its channel base after making reseller recruitment one of its main aims for this year.

The security specialist announced plans last summer to increase the focus on recruiting managed service providers and has managed to deliver on that aim with a five fold increase in the number of MSPs working with the vendor in the UK.

Building on that momentum the firm is now looking to widen its reseller base and is keen to work with those that have been operating in adjacent markets, like networking.

Jonathan Whitley, area sales director for Northern Europe at WatchGuard, said that it had hired one additional member of the channel team and was in the process of adding another to support growth.

"We are putting a lot of resources into partner recruitment and a lot of those partners this year will be added in the UK," he said.

"We are looking to work with a lot of horizontal partners that might occassionally do business but we want to cement a relationship with them. We want to make sure that all the partners are given the full set of tools in the arsenal," he added.

Elsewhere in the industry others are also talking about the need to focus on ensuring that the managed service partner community has more security options.

Gavin Evans, senior UK channel partner SME at Trend Micro, said that there had seen business increase with both existing partners evolving their services models as well as MSPs looking for a security vendor to work with.

"We are seeing a lot of reseller partners transitioning into MSPs and looking for a solution as a managed service," he said.

David Critchley, regional director UK&I at MobileIron, said that the market landscape was changing and there was a call from customers for more security services to be delivered by MSSPs.

"Three quarters of the new business is cloud based and there is an MSP opportunity and they can add on additional services, including managed security. You need managed security to be an effective MSP," he said.

He added that vendors still had a role in helping partners transform their models to become more subscription-based.

"Every reseller is wrestling with, 'how do I become an MSP?'. They have to stand it up and then monetise it and then attract and retain clients," he added.

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