Combating viruses and malware has become second nature to solution providers, and fending off viruses is no longer the complex chore it once was. Yet many solution providers are overwhelmed by the plethora of security software choices flooding the market today. With the introduction of its WebAdmin Antivirus suite, Glendale, Calif.-based Panda Software aims to equip solution providers with one-stop shopping for a variety of security products. Panda has combined a malware-protection client with a Network Operations Center and browser-based management console to give solution providers complete and intuitive control over protecting PCs from malware and other vicious pieces of software that go bump in the night.
Panda has been in the security software business for 15 years and brings a high level of expertise to the table. That expertise is evident in its antivirus suite, a product that combines a locally installed antiviral engine with a Web-based service. Sold as a per-seat item, the product starts at a reasonable $57 per seat and includes updates throughout the product’s life cycle.
Many solution providers may wonder what makes Panda’s offering unique and why Panda’s product should be selected over a competitor’s. The simple answer lies in the fact that WebAdmin Antivirus fits the managed services or ASP model. In other words, solution providers are selling a security service with ongoing revenue as opposed to a ship-and-forget boxed product.
WebAdmin offers all the key components and capabilities required to protect the typical corporate desktop. The antivirus engine can func- tion independently and only requires a Web connection for updates and management, which allows portable systems such as notebook computers or occasionally Web-connected PCs, such as those using dial-up, to be protected against malware attacks. Solution providers will be pleased to know that WebAdmin’s protection schemes scale beyond the typical virus, worms and Trojans, but also guard against new Internet threats such as spyware, adware, dialers, hacking tools and system vulnerabilities. Panda updates virus signatures daily (and more often during a breakout).
The browser-based management console is relatively easy to use, and the bundled reporting tools are both intuitive and comprehensive. The console offers the ability to manage virus protection across groups, allowing solution providers to create viral-protection schemes that can encompass multiple customers.
The client software is a lightweight package that offers complete protection but uses a minimum of CPU cycles. In other words, the antivirus engine has little or no effect on overall system performance.
Initial implementation requirements are little more than a PC and a live Internet connection. No dedicated servers or on-site equipment are needed to deploy and manage the product, which allows for quick and minimal startup costs. Solution providers will also appreciate the opportunity to create additional security services around the product, which can lead to monthly ongoing service revenue.
Panda’s channel program is broken down into three levels. The Reseller Partner Level is for partners that service SMBs and SOHOs with between five and 50 seats/nodes; margins run at about 25 percent. Next is the Managed Service Partner Level, which is geared toward managed security services VARs that also offer the Panda WebAdmin remote management antivirus solution. Minimum requirements include a two-license purchase; margins run at 30 percent. The top tier is the Premier Certified Partner Level, which is for national resellers and enterprise-level VARs that have completed Panda Software certification and/or have delivered value-added solutions to midsize to large customers with 100-plus seats. A 40 percent margin is typical at this level.
Panda also offers dedicated support, sales leads and Web-based training for all partners, and has varying yearly sales levels based upon partner level and volume. Partners will most likely score their major profits from ancillary services and management features.