Kaspersky Lab has outlined key opportunities for increased partner profitability in the year ahead, in response to increased security threats across the region.
In a direct message to the channel, the security vendor sees growth across the mid-market sector, citing a need for partners to provide multi-layered protection to combat new risk within the Internet of Things (IoT).
“Kaspersky Lab is determined to grow our partner ecosystem for more robust and profitable results,” Kaspersky Lab head of channel sales Asia Pacific, Naina Parhar, said. “Periodic improvements are made to our partner program and we aim to recruit partners in regions where we are not represented.
"Our channel managers will also continue to form strategic alliances that will support our growth regionally."
Speaking exclusively to Channel Asia, Parhar - who was appointed to the regional role in January 2018 - said partners can increase profitability levels through expanding capabilities across security, through acquiring certifications and building dedicated practices.
“A successful partner will ensure they retain their customers by delivering excellent value, following operational excellence in renewals, cross selling and up-selling,” Parhar added.
“Attaching key solution components to their existing customer base not only opens up growth opportunities with existing customers but also positions the partners as a strategic advisor to their customers.”
In assessing the changing security landscape, Parhar said partners can extract value through targeting the expanding IoT market, billed as a new “attack vector” by the security vendor.
Through an increase in new sensors and connected devices coming online, a real security challenge is emerging across the market.
This situation will only likely worsen in the years ahead as 5G telecommunications technology comes online, enabling an even greater variety of objects to be connected, with a report by IDC estimating there will be over 82 billion connected devices by 2025.
“With the rise of connected devices, this phenomenon constantly proves to be intelligent and fast growing,” Parhar said. “However, these devices lack basic security features, practise neglect in configuration and provide easy entry points for malicious attacks into an individual or organisations network.”
According to further IDC research, 84 per cent of organisations across Asia Pacific are using low-standard IT security measures that expose them to attackers, creating a role for partners to provide end-user advice and guidance.
Consequently, Parhar said the "proliferation of ransomware and botnets" require customers to adopt multi-layered defence designs, backed up by a "defined and tested" recovery plan.
“Most companies don’t have a doomsday protocol in place in the event of being compromised,” Parhar cautioned. “Recovery plans must be in practise and saved offline where it's still accessible if administrator passwords are compromised.”
As reported by sister publication ARN, Parhar is responsible for bolstering Kaspersky Lab’s distribution framework across the region, alongside taking control of the vendor’s new telesales business, central to small and medium business growth ambitions in 2018.
Furthermore, the industry veteran - drawing on 17 years of enterprise sales and partner management experience - is also charged with rolling out the security specialist’s new global partner program for the region.
“We are in the final stages of getting our ecosystem ready with niche trainings and certifications for Q2 onwards,” Parhar added. “Also, the mid-market continues to be the largest growth area for us.
“This year, partners will have easy access to resources to better engage with Kaspersky Lab. In addition, will will continue to increase our customer coverage through our sales representatives and will provide partners with better support within our channel managers.”
In operating as a channel-centric vendor, Kaspersky Lab goes to market through value-added resellers, system integrators and managed service providers, alongside internet service providers and technology alliances.
But as attackers become more sophisticated and threats increase, Parhar acknowledged that the vendor’s ecosystem of partners must evolve in response to changing customer demands.
“Customers are now looking for the best value for money and partners face competition not just on price, but also on service quality, customer service and providing a total solution instead of sole products,” Parhar explained.
“One of the changing demands that partners must embrace is differentiating themselves from the competition which calls for more creativity and value created for customers.”
Furthermore, technologies such as IoT are part of the much larger trend of digital transformation.
Collecting, analysing, and acting upon data is the new norm and one that is increasingly relevant in today’s highly expectative industry.
As customers increasingly move towards cloud and pay per use solutions, Parhar advised partners to provide the necessary expertise to support businesses through the various digital transformation scenarios that follow.
“Partners assisting customers in today’s channel put a strong emphasis in transforming their own business model to adapt to this change,” Parhar added. “Once they rise to the challenge, income streams will prove worthy compared to traditional business models.”