Kaspersky rolls out professional services program

Kaspersky North American corporate sale chief Chris Doggett

Kaspersky North American corporate sale chief Chris Doggett

PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Over the last year, Kaspersky Lab has significantly increased its product lineup, moving towards positioning itself as a data protection vendor rather than a simple antivirus vendor. The introduction of Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business last year significantly expanded its footprint in a number of new security fields.

Now, as it moves even further towards solutions sales rather than simply selling seats, it’s looking to increase its partners access to selling, and in some cases delivering, professional services. At its North American Partner Conference here, the vendor introduced partners to its new Certified Service Provider program,  under which solution providers will be able to deliver the same range of professional services its own services bench has been delivering for customers.

The program launches comes after the vendor put focus on services being offered, said Chris Doggett, senior vice president of sales for Kaspersky Lab North America. That effort proved there’s demand out there. Even with its “small handful” of internal services staff, Doggett said that by the third month of its push, it was already doing more services engagements than it had in the whole previous year.

“The product portfolio has grown substantially, to the point where there are a lot of things partners can do with the products,” Doggett said. “The technology is intuitive to use, but this isn’t about how easy the technology is, it’s about making the right choices. Our goal is to have customers fully use the range of capabilities of our products, and to have as rich and valuable an experience as possible.”

Kaspersky offers a variety of these services, including assessments, to Kaspersky Lab CSP Accredited Partners, who must go through the vendor’s training and examination program, which includes doing actual customer deployments in tandem with Kaspersky professional services staff as a final “road test” prior to certification. These partners will be able to deliver for their own customers, and will also deliver services as subcontractors of Kaspersky, handling delivery for solution providers who choose not to be accredited by simply resell the professional services offerings, which are now SKUed up for distribution.

In those cases, Doggett said, the subcontracting solution provider will appear to the customer as if Kaspersky resources, and will be bound by contract that includes a one-year no-compete clause that prevents them from working with customer outside of the services engagement, unless the subcontracting partner can prove a previous relationship with the customer.

Ultimately, whether it’s reselling Kaspersky-branded services, or developing the capability to deliver the services themselves, Doggett said all Kaspersky partners should be in the professional services game.

“If partners are already delivering professional services, and want to deliver on their books, that’s great with us,” he said. ‘We have no preference as to how the services are delivered. We just want services delivered with as many sales as possible.”

Doggett said there’s enough capacity in the channel currently to meet the short-term demand for those services, but that the company is going to need additional partners in the long run, as selling its offerings with services wrapped around becomes the default way of doing business.

“Our goal in the long term is to get professional services and premium support attached to every sale,” he said. “We’re in a subscription business, and if customers get value out of our products, they’re going to be long-term customers.”