Disrupting the IT Threat landscape
A new wave of advanced IT threats has compelled security vendors to redraw the battle lines between cybercriminals and the corporate world. For ESET, the stakes are high, but so are the rewards. Company general manager Pradeesh VS, explains how he is guiding the channel to disrupt the IT threat landscape.
Nearly two years after taking over as general manager of ESET Middle East, Pradeesh VS is enjoying his role and the engagement the company has with the regional IT channel. Consider these recent events: ESET enhanced its business solutions with the Smart Security array, rolled out a new channel partner programme, significantly opened-up its product portfolio for bundles to solution providers and VARs, and an all-out alliance with backup solutions vendor StorageCraft.
In the 24 months he has been in this role, Pradeesh has managed to lay the foundation for ESET’s channel charge, which in part involves a sales plan that has focused the vendor’s partners on the much sought-after midmarket and SMB accounts across the region.
“In the Middle East, majority of businesses about 70% are SMBs with no IT managers or IT administrators. Most of their IT functions have been outsourced to a partner that is doing an annual maintenance contract,” noted Pradeesh.
He said that is why ESET has developed a channel sales plan that aims to aid partners extend their reach in the SMB space as most of small firms don’t have proper information on which security products or solutions to go with.
With the global headquarters in Bratislava, Slovakia, ESET is established in Eastern Europe and analysts say it has been making significant gains in the Middle East with adoption of its solutions by SMBs, midsize firms and enterprises increasing phenomenally over the last few years.
“Last year was a great year for ESET in terms of business and internally we managed to grow the team,” he said. “The reason for expanding our workforce is because we are looking for more new business across the Middle East.”
Along with expansion and business growth, Pradeesh added that ESET has come up with version two of its Channel Partner Programme offering new terms, rebates, incentives and more benefits for solutions providers and VARs.
He said in 2015, the focus is on new business because ESET has a substantial renewal business, which is being taken care of by partners. “What we are also looking at is taking our business to the next level,” he added.
Pradeesh explained that to complement these channel charges, ESET has also tied up with other vendors that work in line with IT security. “We have tied up with StorageCraft, which is a backup solution, added the two factor authentication offering, the ESET Secure Authentication and introduced the encryption product ESET DESlock,” he said. “These are the three products we have added to the ESET array, which we are taking to the partner base that is selling and promoting our products.”
He said security has become such a priority that every organisation big or small, wants to know that controls are in place and the latest security technology is in use. “Right now being reactive or proactive is no longer the focus for the advanced threats that are emerging. It’s more about being predictive and understanding the vulnerabilities in the IT environment to the threats, and businesses needs to be predicting these things,” he added.
Pradeesh said where the Middle East lacks is that most organisations believe that cyber-attacks happening in other regions can never happen here. However, Pradeesh continued, there is more oil and money in the Middle East, and that puts this region to be one of the most targeted geographies by cybercriminals and cyber-attacks. “This is where solution providers play a crucial role not just from a product or solution implementation perspective, but being the trusted advisor to their customers,” he said.
Pradeesh explained that now an organisation cannot rely on antivirus alone as security needs a holistic solution and this trend is slowly catching on with SMBs. “They have started to invest in all-in-one security solutions, where they would like to have antivirus, firewall and anti-spam, and ESET is offering these to channel partners under the Smart Security banner, which is a complete suite,” he said. “Small businesses are ready to upgrade to the next level because they understand that antivirus alone is not enough.”
The challenge channel partners face is being able to provide their clients comprehensive solutions on the endpoint, the network, perimeter and the cloud without hampering the business.
According to Pradeesh, technology must solve a problem and do it in a more efficient way. “This is the reason why ESET has introduced on the business solutions side, a combination of products. We have standalone antivirus then we have added email and mobile security added to it. What ESET has also introduced in the region in 2015, is bundle bags to enable business users that buy our products to get mobile security for free for a specified period,” he said. “The reason we are doing this is that companies are more into BYOD and because employees have to use their own devices, they need to secure those devices.”
With global spending on information security expected to grow more than 8% in 2015, reaching nearly $77bn, according to research firm Gartner, where will be the next big thing for ESET?