Network Associates subsidiary McAfee.com is testing the water with a managed service provider (MSP) model in the Asia-Pacific region, appointing three partners to begin offering its software as a service.
The first cab off the rank is Guardian Solutions International, a Sydney-based IT consultancy, which has set up a business focused on the provision of security services around the McAfee product set. Following hot on its heels is Powerlan division Zento and New Zealand-based MSP Network Pro.
Guardian has begun offering a multitiered managed virus defence, which is designed to protect all entry points including the gateway, server and desktop. Guardian charges a set-up fee, varying according to the size of the client, and a subscription licence to the McAfee products for two years. Clients are then charged a monthly fee on a per-node basis.
McAfee channel sales manager Ray McIntyre admitted that outsourcing is "a bit on the nose" (unpopular) at present, but said that typically a pilot implementation quickly justifies the cost of such a service to the client.
"What they come to realise is that 80 per cent of the cost of an antivirus solution is managing the infrastructure," McIntyre said. "Rather than have your staff constantly updating virus definitions, your IT resources can be spent on more proactive projects."
McIntyre said he plans to appoint more MSP partners in the Asia-Pacific region in the near future.