Echoing Lim’s observations, Leng Fong Lau - managing director of Netpluz Asia - acknowledged that within the context of security, the SMB market is more cost-conscious.
“If you talk to small businesses especially, they do not care which brand is used as long as its affordable and achieves the desired outcome,” he said. “I think the cost-conscious customer is a real opportunity here.”
Meanwhile, from the perspective of the enterprise, Jack Ming Yeo - vice president of Asia Pacific at NEC - said that “coming from the enterprise, I may not have those same challenges as the SME market has.
“I would say that most of our enterprise customers have a big enough budget to protect what is needed,” Yeo added. “They know specifically what there is to look into but the other perspective is that they have too much choice.
“There are too many products. Even after they have selected the product that is to be included into their infrastructure they have a problem managing it because a lot of the products may not be compatible.”
Speaking as an experienced industry leader, Yeo said some of the products available are only managing one part of security while other products are managing the other part.
“Eventually, you still have a security issue because the only security products you have do not protect everything so the attacker can still attack what does not have sufficient protection,” Yeo explained.
Yeo pointed out that whilst the data centre itself is well protected, it is not usually the source of the problem when it comes to security.
Instead, it’s those devices found at the edge of the network with endpoint security a major topic of interest in today’s market.
“The problem sometimes comes from the camera or the printer,” said Yeo. “These are things that are connected to a network.
“These are things that people tend not to see because these are perimeter products that they tend not to protect. I can see an increasing trend in that customers are looking for more endpoint protection.”
Asia is over-flowing with opportunities for the channel, and as the first point of contact for many end-users, partners play a significant role in educating business on security maters and best practice.
“I have heard a lot of horror stories around security,” said Kelly Ho Ai Choo, general manager of ITMAP. “There are a lot of attacks in Vietnam, for example.
“There is a lack of education with regards to security. We are doing a lot of publicity and newsletters to help educate the workforce.
“I put such news and updates in different forums and collate this together to educate them on what is happening in other markets and what Singapore and Australia are doing.”
For Logicalis, customer complexity represents an opportunity to advise on the best total security solution based on budget and requirements.
“There are two routes that we take,” said Tsu. “One is a more strategic route and one is a more technical route.
“On the more strategic route, we would go with a solution that is more platform-based and end-to-end, which is tied into a fabric that provides intelligence to all the different components of security.
“One of the biggest issues around customer management is integration so we need to look at the complexities and problems around integration also.
“A vendor that can provide that end-to-end offering gets a vote from us as a platform that we use for a strategic push into the market through specific verticals.”
This exclusive Channel Asia roundtable was in association with Cisco, Datto and Sophos.