HP has entered the world of hosted security services with the launch of a subscription-based, email filtering product.
The HP eMail Filter, which is offered in partnership with Symantec, is aimed at small and midsize businesses and forms part of HP’s Total Care suite of offerings. Even though HP will host the service itself, it is not shutting its channel out, saying the product will be sold through both resellers and distributors.
HP Personal Systems Group marketing manager Warwick Grey says since subscription fees for the HP eMail Filter are charged 12 months in advance, it provides the channel with good upfront margins and the opportunity for ongoing annual revenue.
However, he concedes some resellers may not be familiar with selling software on a subscription-based model. “This is not owned software, so it can be classified as a software-as-a-service. Most resellers are not familiar with selling products in that way.”
One concern resellers have highlighted has been around renewal of contracts at the end of their term, says Grey, but adds the reseller that originally signed a customer to the service will have the opportunity to renew the contract before it expires.
The HP eMail Filter offers three-in-one protection as it prevents spam, scans for email viruses and is also a content management tool, Grey says. “The product is based on Symantec’s enterprise product that is not normally sold in the SME space.”
Spam and viruses are filtered before they enter the network, says Grey, adding the service complements existing, client-based security applications.
HP is offering a free, 30-day trial of the service and Grey urges resellers to try the product for themselves, and in turn encourage their customers to trial it. Pricing for the service starts at $49 per mailbox a year.