Trend Micro eyes cloud leadership

Anthony O’Mara, senior vice president for Trend EMEA on how platform change will disrupt the security market

Tags: Cloud computingTrend Micro Incorporated
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Trend Micro eyes cloud leadership
By  Mark Sutton Published  May 19, 2011

Anthony O’Mara, senior vice president for Trend EMEA on how platform change will disrupt the security market.

CME: The security software market seems to be very competitive, with a lot of players at the moment - how do you think the market is going to shape up?

AO: There are still only three main players in the [security] landscape, and as we go through a platform change, moving more and more toward the cloud, you have to make sure you have a clear vision to make that leap. We are driven by innovation, we do nothing else [other than security], and that innovation has allowed us to be at the forefront of most of the platform shifts of the last 15-20 years.

When you look at the broader landscape, there are a lot of companies who entered the market maybe 10-12 years ago, and they are at that stage of evolution where they need to take a step up, and if they are not able to do that they are going to find it very difficult to survive. It is scary for the industry because you see some competitors beginning to compete so aggressively on price. If they are not evolving the solution set in a way to protect the customer better, and solve their problems, then that is a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with price competition if we are all talking about doing the right thing for the customer - but in security, for the guy buying the solution, their job can depend on it if they get it wrong.

CME: Do you support channel partners in getting that value message to customers?

AO: Absolutely, and it is a tough message, you deal with so many partners, any vendor must have a clear vision, you can’t just claim to have the best partner programme.
You must have a good, competitive partner programme to get them excited, but behind that you have to be able to show the long term vision for the company. We have a record of being at the forefront of platform shift. Every time there is a platform shift, there is an opportunity to make money, and the better partners will see that. But if you stay selling the same old stuff in the same old way, it becomes a price problem.

CME: Where is Trend going with cloud, and how does that apply to your partners?

AO: Four years ago I remember being at an executive meeting with Trend, and the visionaries within the company could see the conception of cloud, and said ‘the industry is going this way - we can make product changes to enhance what we have, or we can be ready for this [change]’ - and we chose the latter, we started to invest in cloud and how we can secure companies within the cloud. As a result of that, about a year ago we came out with cloud-ready products. The bigger vendors are ready to start releasing [their solutions], but Trend are ahead, we want to be number one in cloud security, and I think we are well poised to do that.

What does that mean to our channel? It is not just about cloud, the platform change changes the way you do business. That platform change allows you to save money, to become more productive, more efficient, and for a reseller that can see that and provide a consultative approach, until the change becomes the norm, there is an opportunity to make money.

CME: Are you set up to allow partners to provide your solutions as security-as-a-service offerings?

AO: We have the framework to allow that to happen, we are not providing SaaS directly. Partners who have that business model, we are in a good position to provide that [to them], and across the EMEA region, that is happening in different countries. I can see a big uptick in our small business package, Worry-Free, which includes services, we have seen a surge in purchases of the product across the EMEA region.

CME: Does Trend have any plans to offer those services directly?

AO: Our strategy will always be to sell through a two-tier channel. We will never get the reach from a direct sales organisation that we can do with the partner. We don’t walk in and take deals direct. We know that we will still involve the partner at installation, we will make sure they are rewarded. As much as innovation and security is part of our DNA, so is the two-tier channel.

CME: What about renewals revenue?

AO: We don’t take renewals directly. We want to reward the partner that makes that initial sale, we want to help protect that renewal stream for them. Where the company wins the initial deal, makes their margin, we want to make sure that if they service that customer well, that some other reseller doesn’t come in and kill that annuity for them on price.Within our partner programme we are looking at how we protect that investment.

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