The Russians are coming, but quietly

The Russians are coming, but quietly

STEALTH is the secret weapon being used to win users over to Russian antivirus vendor Kaspersky.

Instead of launching into a marketing war with larger players such as McAfee, Trend Micro and Symantec, the company’s regional agent plans to gain ground by enlisting more channel partners.

Sydney-based Microbe distributes, markets and supports Kaspersky in New Zealand, Australia and Oceania. Last month the company appointed Alison Conti as channel account manager to focus solely on New Zealand. She is responsible for supporting existing partners and finding new recruits.

Raelene Forbes, Microbe channels man-ger, says instead of supplying local resellers directly, the company is looking for partners who can support their own channels.

Applied Insight of Auckland already supplies the range here, but Forbes believes another two or three similar partners can be supported. “We see more potential and want to expand the channel,” says Forbes.

The company is working with Applied Insight to help them do this, but is also talking to other potential partners.

Alan Candy, Applied Insight managing director, says he would welcome the competition, as long as it not too intense.

“Competition is good for the end-user, but too much could dilute the market,” he says.

“If it gives the product more exposure, that has to be good.”

Applied Insight has been dealing with the brand since 1996 and Candy is keen to work with Microbe to grow the market. He agrees with Forbes that Kaspersky has not reached its full potential here. They say the product outperforms many of its larger rivals in many respects, with its incremental virus definition updates and high detection rates, for example, and should enjoy wider adoption in New Zealand.

However, marketing is an issue. Microbe does not have the budget to compete head-on with the larger vendors, which is why it wants to expand the channel. “They talk to customers all the time and can present Kaspersky as a good alternative,” Forbes says.

Candy says more marketing is needed to raise awareness of the brand and its capabilities. “It is a good product, we just hope to have more marketing.”

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