Although it doesn’t bill itself as such, StillSecure has taken on the characteristics of a master MSP (managed service provider). That’s quite a transition for a company that, until recently, spent most of its time selling network security products.
StillSecure, founded in 2000, continues to provide network access control, intrusion detection system/intrusion prevention system, and vulnerability management wares. But the company made the jump to managed security services provider (MSSP) with its February 2009 acquisition of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based ProtectPoint.
ProtectPoint’s services include managed firewall, managed IDS/IPS, and managed virtual private network. The company provides a 24x7 security operations center for monitoring and support.
The ChannelAnother ProtectPoint contribution: channel ties. Prior to the acquisition, the MSSP sold its services mostly through partners. StillSecure earlier this month launched a channel program that continues that theme. Powered by ProtectPoint, one of three levels in the StillSecure Alliance Partner Program, aims to work with MSPs, collocation facilities, and integrators.
Alan Shimel, chief strategy officer at StillSecure, said ProtectPoint’s partners were often data center operators who wanted to add managed security to the mix. StillSecure now pursues a wider focus.
“We came in and bought the business and are big fans of the channel strategy,” Shimel said. “But we think it extends way beyond data center operators.”
Traditional, hardware-focused systems integrators will be among those looking to managed services as a sourced of added value and reoccurring revenue, according to Shimel.
StillSecure aims to get partners involved in its managed security in a couple of ways. The Powered by ProtectPoint program lets partners earn reoccurring revenue for providing its services to end customers. The partner bills its customers for the ProtectPoint services and StillSecure, in turn, bills the partner.
StillSecure also offers an agent-based option for companies who would rather avoid billing and administrating security services. Partners who recommend ProtectPoint services receive an upfront referral fee based on the length of the end customer’s contract.
“They can monetize that relationship relatively quickly and not have to worry about the responsibility of staying involved in the equation,” Shimel said.
Narrow FocusOne possible drawback to StillSecure’s MSP thrust is its limited vendor focus. Managed security services providers such as Perimeter eSecurity and SecureWorks support multiple vendors. Shimel said his company only covers ProtectPoint/StillSecure solutions at the moment. But he said StillSecure plans to expand in the future and is looking at potential acquisitions with that in mind.
So, StillSecure’s service transition looks set to continue. Shimel attributed that shift to mid-sized enterprises and their struggle to stay on top of security.
“For a lot of reasons, security got harder especially for mid-market companies to do themselves,” he explained. “We realized that just selling the hardware or an appliance wasn’t enough.”
Contributing blogger John Moore covers Master MSPs and Web hosts, and has written about the IT channel for two decades. MSPmentor is updated multiple times daily. Don’t miss a single post. Subscribe to our Enewsletter, RSS, Webcast and Twitter feeds.