Lenovo, Sophos: Thinking Security (Together)
It’s right around midnight. The VAR Guy should be sleeping. But our resident blogger just heard another wake-up call for entrenched security software providers. The details: Lenovo and Sophos are set to announce an expanded security partnership aimed directly at the channel. The deal, set to debut Feb. 23, calls for Lenovo to offer Sophos security and “data protection technology bundles” with Lenovo Think-branded PCs for corporate customers. Where do VARs fit in? Here are some clues.
To be clear: This is more than a pre-load and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) relationship. Sophos and Lenovo channel team members are set to jointly educate and promote the relationship to VARs and solutions providers, confirms Sophos Channel Chief Chris Doggett.
The joint offerings will “wrap” anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, HIPS (host intrusion prevention system), application control, NAC (network access control), DLP (data loss prevention) and encryption into a single solution.
This isn’t the first time Lenovo and Sophos have worked together. Lenovo has a “longstanding” relationship with Utimaco, a data encryption vendor acquired by Sophos in 2009. Their work has blurred the lines between Lenovo’s hardware and Sophos’s software. A prime example: VARs should check out Lenovo’s fingerprint reader and Sophos’s encryption software, which work hand in hand.
You’ve Been Disrupted
The VAR Guy is watching closely as upstarts such as Sophos and Kaspersky Lab apparently disrupt entrenched rivals like Symantec, McAfee and Trend Micro. The recent Kaspersky Lab Americas partner conference in the Dominican Republic revealed plans for Kaspersky to potentially double or triple Americas partner sales in 2010. And at Sophos, Doggett hasn’t been shy when describing the company’s recent partner momentum.
Meanwhile, there are signs that PC makers are reassessing their security software relationships. In addition to the Lenovo-Sophos relationship, there’s healthy speculation that HP will stop bundling Symantec Norton Antivirus with new PCs in favor of McAfee’s offerings.
The security chatter doesn’t end there. No doubt, there’s plenty of competitive posturing on the SaaS security front as well.
The VAR Guy has more thoughts to share. But our resident blogger is going to opt for some sleep instead. He’ll be back soon with more channel chatter.