By Adeshni Rohit, Business Unit Executive for HP and Cisco at Axiz
I’m not a technical person. Like most users of digital technology, I rely on the devices around me to do my work effectively and efficiently. Generally speaking, my laptop is no different to my car: it does what I need, and if something goes wrong I take it to an expert. But I don’t need an expert to know I should lock my doors and activate my car alarm.
This logic is becoming more crucial for digital devices – myself and countless other professionals can’t rely only on experts to avoid the dangers of cyber crime. We need more proactive measures – advantages that come bundled with our devices. It’s a fantastic opportunity for channel resellers to include security as part of their products, even if they aren’t security experts.
The capacity for criminals to attack our devices has become an enormous challenge that we ignore at our peril. Ironically, we apply such diligence in other areas. Whenever you see an article on ‘hijacking trends’ or ‘how to avoid a burglary’, don’t you jump to it? Reading those tips helps us be safer. If more people were interested in the basic ways cyber criminals attack us, fewer attacks would succeed.
But in the meantime, resellers in the channel can step in to close some of that gap – and you don’t need to be a security house to make a difference. If you can cross-sell security as part of devices and other services, you’ll make an impact on your customers and their security peace of mind.
There are three ways you can sell security as part of your device packages: devices that have built-in security, security products bundled with devices and managed security services. I’ll briefly look at each.
Devices with built-in security are an emerging trend. Some major brands emphasise their reputation for secure devices, and several vendors market their laptops and phones’ built-in security features. Such devices appeal to people who need extra security, such as travelling executives, security officers and some types of remote workers.
Security requires more than a good laptop. Most security failures result from human errors. But a ‘secure’ laptop has some advantages, such as a fingerprint reader, physical covers for webcam cameras and data encryption features. A device with built-in security features can help lower the risk of errors and attacks.
Bundling security software with a device. Here I exclude laptops that include anti-virus software. The nature of modern malware and ransomware attacks has reduced anti-virus to a small part of overall digital security. It’s still crucial to have anti-virus, but it’s far from sufficient.
Modern security software includes virtual private networks (VPNs), encryption, backup and malware detection. You don’t need to be a security company to offer such choices if you can leverage the expertise of your distribution partner to select the right software. Resellers can offer consulting on these choices to their customers. Not all laptops need encryption or VPNs, but there are roles in a company that would benefit from such features. A reseller that knows their customer’s business can identify those roles.
Managed security is a very robust answer to cyber crime. Rather than buy security software and hire large security teams, companies use managed security service providers (MSSPs) that run digital security on their behalf. MSSPs operate extensive monitoring and detection software and entire operations centres at lower costs because they pool and scale their services across several customers.
A reseller can partner with an MSSP to bundle security services with devices. This approach works particularly well if you sell products such as servers or cloud services. Since MSSPs run on annuity models where customers pay subscription fees, you can even negotiate for a piece of that recurring revenue without being a security provider.
Security has become a huge concern for both individuals and companies. They need assurances and answers. Solution integration providers are in the habit of including security via partnerships. Yet resellers can also use this approach to cross-sell security features with their core products, especially if they work with the right distributor.
Axiz is such a distributor. We represent multiple top device brands, security vendors and MSSPs. We also invest in security and have established security teams that help our partners deploy security products. We train channel companies to become MSSPs, and we have several MSSPs in our customer pool that we connect with other partners. And yes, we provide many of the new-generation devices with advanced security features.
You can cross-sell security to your customers without becoming a security company. If you work with the right partners, you can provide security features that your customers are happy to purchase. Security has become a significant value-add and upsell for devices. If your bread and butter is providing your customers with devices, speak to Axiz and start adding security to your portfolio and revenue.