PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – After more than two years of concerted efforts, solution provider Hypertec Group arrived at Kaspersky Lab’s North American Partner Conference here this weekend with a hard-won victory in hand – the exclusive right to sell Kaspersky to the Canadian Federal government.
Hypertec has been a Kaspersky partner for about three years, but Jean Claude Carufel, vice president of public sector sales for the solution provider, said they found the Quebec market well-covered by other partners. Ottawa, however, was a new opportunity.
“We’ve tried to help [Kaspersky] get on the list, but it has been refused thus far,” he said.
The list, of course, is the NMSO, on which a vendor must appear to even have a shot at selling to the government. Kaspersky is not currently on the list, and could not get on because it’s not a Canadian company. To get around that problem, Hypertec set out to become Kaspersky’s rep to the federal government, under which it will own all projects selling Kaspersky software to government agencies.
After two years of negotiations and effort to get the deal done, Hypertec was able to get the deal signed, sealed and delivered last Wednesday, just hours before boarding a plane to head to Punta Cana for the event.
“We took on the project of getting that door open, and now we have it,” he said. “We were able to come here with the contract in hand and share the news with [Kaspersky North America president] Steve Orenberg, [corporate sales chief] Chris Doggett, and event with the Eugene [Kaspersky] himself here.”
In total, Hypertec will now represent about 200 different Kaspersky SKUs in the federal market. Although it hasn’t done security in the federal space before, and it intends to be exclusive with Kaspersky – as Kaspersky will necessarily be with Hypertec – Jerred Bittle, sales manager for Ontario public sector at Hypertec said it will use its existing connections into federal agencies to build the market for its products.
One particularly strong way to go with be with its Ciara brand of desktops. Bittle said the company did between 15,000 and 20,000 Ciara desktops into the federal government last year, and it hopes to get Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business onto every desktop it sells to the feds going forward.
The company intends to first target those agencies with which it has the deepest connections – the RCMP and Department of National Defense among them. It also intends to bring many of its fellow solution providers to bear on the project. Within Ottawa, Bittle said the company will seek to work with its peers (and oftentimes competitors) to get access to unfamiliar agencies for the Kaspersky lineup. And outside of Ottawa, the company will use its existing connections with partners across Canada to help service and support the deals it signs for Kaspersky products. It’s an agency model that Hypertec knows well. Carufel said that as the sole supplier of Samsung printers to the federal space, it has nationwide connections to help install and service those printers.
“We’ll use those same guys to install [Kaspersky] products across Canada,” he said.
The deal has taken some time to get in place, but is all the sweeter because of the expansion Kaspersky has seen over the last few years. When Hypertec started its journey, Kaspersky was primarily and endpoint security vendor, and unashamedly so. In the interim, it has significantly expanded its offering, adding new endpoint and management options with the Kaspersky Enterprise Security for Business offering, ramping up its professional services messaging, and introducing a virtualization-focused product. All those play well.
“I like the possibility to do services, that’s where we can get the best revenues,” Carufel said.
“There’s a lot of value in the virtualization product as well. There are a lot of government data centers our there that need to be protected,” added Bittle. “We’ll be able to go much bigger than just endpoint security.”