The One Security Solution Customers Really Want
The VAR Guy is listening intently at the Kaspersky Lab Americas Partner Conference in the Dominican Republic. Business sounds strong. Channel partners sound happy. But nobody is really discussing the one security solution end-customers want most.
Let’s start with the good news. Kaspersky Lab‘s business — driven entirely by channel sales — seems to be enjoying at least 30 percent to 35 percent annual growth. Pretty darn impressive during these lean economic times. Plus, Kaspersky Lab executives have vowed to maintain a pure channel focus. Here’s some more details on the strategy.
Also of note: Kaspersky Lab is rallying partners around marketing and branding. Build a brand customers trust, Kaspersky Lab officials say, and customers will stick by you even if you hit a temporary bump. (Unspoken example: Toyota, which will fully recover from the recent braking nightmare, The VAR Guy believes.)
Kaspersky is offering up good advice to partners here. But what do end customers really want from their security software providers?
Less Is More
The simple answer: Less. Customers want slim security software. In fact, they don’t want to see or hear from their security software. Like automobile airbags and anti-lock brakes, customers want to know they’re protected without seeing dozens of pop-up windows and endless warnings that inspire fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Meeting those demands requires security software vendors to maintain a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, security companies keep adding more and more features to their endpoint protection security suites. But on the other hand, those suites need to have small footprints — tiny, tightly written agents that don’t impact boot times.
The Wrong Marketing Message?
During most media briefings, security companies describe their massive signature databases — which track millions of known Internet security threats. Security companies also spend plenty of time describing how their online systems can quickly spot a problem, and then update endpoints with the most appropriate protective software.
So far, so good. But The VAR Guy wishes security companies would spend far more time talking about footprints, memory requirements and boot times.
Windows remains the dominant desktop, but millions of customers have made the move to Mac OS X and Linux because they grew tired of Windows security holes, and some of the bloated security solutions designed to fill those holes.
Sure, VARs welcome healthy margins and security companies that are purely channel centric. Those two attributes help to explain recent growth at both Kaspersky Lab and rival Sophos.
Still, end customers don’t care about partner margins and channel programs. They just want slimmer and slimmer security software.
Which security company has the slimmest security software? The VAR Guy needs to research the answer to that question.