Panda Refreshes Console With Management

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Panda Security refreshed its cloud security console with management capabilities, giving partners a new crack at mixing and matching services that will represent a differentiator amid a fiercely competitive cloud market.

In a market increasingly overrun by new and legacy cloud players, Panda Security is attempting to give its partners a leg up as competitors close in. The Spain-based cloud security firm revamped its free management console Panda Cloud Partner Center, a tool that arms partners with a combination of security and management services. For solution providers, that means opportunities to create a unique hybrid of security and management services, combined to pad portfolios with a few extra necessary value-adds as the cloud security space starts to take flight.

The revised Cloud Center comprises many of the company's flagship and secondary security offerings, including Cloud Office Protection, Cloud Office Protection Advanced,  Cloud E-mail Protecton and Cloud Systems Management, all of which are woven into the console. The Cloud Center console simply brings those services together and provides a single access point from which to launch governing or management services.

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But for solution providers, its biggest selling point will be the potential to build out comprehensive and tailored security and system management services for their customers. What separates the cloud console from others is the fact that partners can manage the entire life-cycle on their own, with no intervention from Panda. And that bodes well for partners wanting to deepen their cloud security services play to include some higher dollar system monitoring and incident resolution services, in addition to anti-malware protection.

But the console also gives partners the opportunity to expand prowess into customer relationship management (CRM) realm, equipping them with a spate of management and product life-cycle monitoring tools that allow them to deploy trial versions, assign licenses and govern renewals. That in turn, can give them greater traction in enterprise-class markets seeking more advanced managed service engagements.

As part of the launch, Panda is also giving participating solution providers first crack at a new licensing model, which enables them to sell in both a traditional way as well as via a monthly subscription-based service. The new licensing model features an array of perks –  the first one being the ability to capture potentially lost revenue from customer attrition. If a customer cancels their subscription with active licenses still running, a managing solution provider can then reassign them to another customer and eventually regain that revenue stream.

The new licensing model also enables partners to bolster margins by buying license packs at discounts in bulk. The license pack can be used directly through partners via the console without Panda playing the middle-man, which allows partners to buy licenses in advance and assign them to customers.

“The new Panda Cloud Partner Center lets partners focus on their business and eliminates the hassle of working with various cloud vendors,” says Manu Santamaria, Product Manager at Panda Security Headquarter. “As vendors, we need to help our partners make their business model flexible, so the service they offer customers is not only much more effective, but also generates higher margins.”

If anything, the revised console represents a bit of a competitive differentiator for the security firm, which partners can laud when attempting to go after incremental, and increasingly hard-won, cloud security business.

And the need is growing. The cloud security market is expected to experience a sharp upward growth spike over the next few years, exceeding $6 billion by 2016 according to Transparency Market Research,.

Now in terms of the cloud, Panda Security, with its first official cloud security launch in 2009, was one of the few security vendors at the time getting in on the ground floor. For years, its early start in a nascent but rapidly accelerating market gave the security firm an indisputable advantage in security arenas, especially against other anti-virus firms that had yet to onboard cloud infrastructure.

Flash forward a few years and Panda Security is now swimming amid a rising sea of cloud security competitors, including industry peers Trend Micro Inc. and Webroot Inc,. that have also since captured and maintained significant swaths of the cloud security market early on.

Currently, Panda partners have already carved out a viable niche in the space. But they shouldn't get too comfortable. Going forward, solution providers will likely need to work a little harder to create enough differentiation to keep margins high and revenue streams profitable, all while staying vigilant as competitors follow close behind.

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