Kaspersky going after the enterprise

Published: December 6th, 2009

Moscow – More than 64 per cent of Kaspersky Lab’s revenue comes from its consumer business. This bit of success has led the privately-held company to grow just over 30 per cent despite the global economic meltdown in 2009.

The company will report more than US$430 million in revenue for 2009 and it has forecasted sales of US$600 million for 2010. This base has helped Kaspersky expand into 28 countries including Canada, bring in about 50,000 customers on a daily basis leading to a worldwide user base of approximately 300,000, and it’s been named the fastest growing anti-malware company by the NPD Group.

That’s might sound like good news for the 13-year old Kaspersky. But, the company’s leadership does not view it that way. Company COO Eugene Buyakin realizes that Kaspersky cannot have all of its eggs in one basket and has targeted the enterprise market to balance out its portfolio.

“One of the reason we are doing this is to create a more balanced portfolio. Right now we depend on the consumer leg of business. In this industry the loyalty to the brand is low and so many products exist in this market that typically end-users change from one brand to other very easily. It was good for us to gain marketshare, but then again it could be easier for our competitors to gain marketshare on us,” Buyakin said.

Currently Kaspersky has very little revenue from enterprise customers. The rest comes from SMB and OEM alliances with the likes of Check Point and Juniper Networks.

Keith Maskell, vice president, corporate business division for Kaspersky, said the consumer products has helped the company grow up to this point, but the world is a finite size and to keep up the pace of growth in the future it has to expand its technology base.

To that end, look for Kaspersky to release version 8 of its end point product next year along with messaging, Web and infrastructure security suites and a hosted security-as-a-service through channel partners. In 2011, Kaspersky will roll out the last of its enterprise-class products; version 9 of advanced integrated network risk management software.

“This will be a complete solution for business and government. This is a broad solution strategy, not a single solution,” Maskell said.

Kaspersky attempt at cracking the enterprise market will be lead by channel partners, Maskell said. Kaspersky will start early next year to feed these products through the tier 2 channel. “We are not proposing to sell direct and we need to acquire system integrators and larger VARs in our partner base. This is, in a nutshell, our channel strategy,” Maskell said.

Steve Orenberg, Kaspersky Americas president, based in Boston, the enterprise channel plan will be part of the company’s Green Team program. For 2010, there will be an emphasis on channel recruitment. He as targeted 50 new partners for next year and the company will re-evaluate channel capacity on a year-to-year basis. “We don’t want to over saturate the market. We want to recruit from the mid-to-higher end of the market. We’ve always said we want the right partner, not just any one,” Orenberg said.

Kaspersky will also look to distribution to augment channel recruitment, he added.

The security vendor also streamlined its service level agreements (SLA) for the channel.

Going forward there will only be two SLA plans: 3,000 users and under and 3,000 users or more.

Maskell believes this new SLA structure will be less expensive. In the 3,000 and above category will have more stringent requirements and he assures there will be more access to people at Kaspersky and that account managers will support channel efforts.

Buyakin said that being a private company can enable Kaspersky to look long term at the enterprise market. “We are not that interested in quarterly results. For us the main goal is to gain market share in the corporate business. If we have to be flexible in price then we can accept that,” he said.

“The corporate business is more stable. It will take time to build this area. We want more long term customers and in enterprise these business do not replace product so long as they are happy with it unlike in consumer market where people like to try something new.”


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