Symantec, Trend Micro: SaaS Showdown
Symantec is set to announce quarterly results on May 2, but The VAR Guy is focused on the companyâ€™s longer-term business. And he’s here to tell you: Something big is coming, folks. And it involves an online showdown with up-and-comer Trend Micro.
For the first time since Symantec acquired Veritas nearly two years ago, the entire company is unified behind a company-changing software project.
Whatâ€™s the buzz? Symantec is testing an online software mall of sortsâ€”called the Symantec Protection Networkâ€”where customers can choose from a suite of online services. The first software as a service (SaaS), set to officially debut late this year, is online backup.
Whatâ€™s next? The VAR Guy expects Symantec Protection Network to include an online security service that monitors and protects small business networks. Not by coincidence, Trend Micro has announced a security service of its own. An online security showdown between Symantec and Trend will surely occur before the close of this year, The VAR Guy believes.
A ton of business is at stake, folks. The VAR Guy hears 25 VARs are testing Symantec’s online backup service, and another 75 or so are set to give it a try. If those initial 100 partners each bring 10 customers to the party, Symantec will rapidly engage 1,000 small business customers.
Do some quick math, folks, and the long-term potential is startling. Symantec has 42,000 North American registered partners. If a mere 2 percent of those partners embrace the Symantec Protection Network in 2008, thatâ€™s nearly 1,000 partners promoting the system. Now, assume each partner signs up 10 customers. Suddenly, Symantec will generate recurring monthly revenue from 10,000 small businesses.
If everything goes as planned, Symantec and Trend Micro in 2008 will start to resemble nimble, next-generation software providers like Salesforce.com and Rightnow Technologies Inc.
Still, questions about pricing and partner rewards remain. Plus, the SaaS market already has entrenched competitors. EVault (recently acquired by Seagate LLC) already offers a popular online backup service. And smaller companies like eFolder have a following in the market.
Are Symantec and Trend Micro up to the challenges? Hmmm. Too early the say. In Symantec’s case, the company has taken the first step in its most critical journey since acquiring Veritas. And in Trend Micro’s case, the company has beaten Symantec out of the gate with a managed security service for SMBs.