Microsoft Corp. today announced a series of measures aimed at expanding its Security Software Advisor (SSA) program, including higher payouts to partners and a broader set of eligible deals. As of Dec. 1, 2006, Microsoft will pay advisory fees to eligible security channel partners of up to 30 percent on most commercial, government and educational licensing programs. These adjustments have been made in response to growing demand for the Microsoft® Forefront™ security product lineup from business customers and feedback from the SSA program’s partner base, which has swelled to over 1,700 members in only four months.
The SSA program delivers additional value to Microsoft’s Security Solutions Competency, a program for partners that specialize in the sale and deployment of security solutions and services. As part of the overall Microsoft Partner Program, the competency provides substantial business opportunities and supports partners as they develop their businesses around Microsoft security solutions and services.
This program’s expansion follows a number of recent Microsoft Forefront product announcements. Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Forefront Security for SharePoint® were launched earlier this month to help businesses protect Exchange Server 2007 and 2007 versions of SharePoint Products and Technologies against malware, spam, inappropriate content and unwanted files. In November, the Microsoft Forefront Client Security public beta was launched to protect laptops and server operating systems from viruses, worms spyware, rootkits, and Trojan horses.
More details about the SSA program and what it means for security partners can be found at https://partner.microsoft.com/securitysoftwareadvisor.
As we have mentioned previously, the business security software market is quite lucrative and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have Microsoft branded offerings for Microsoft middleware like Exchange or SharePoint. However, as always, Microsoft’s business sales are driven by partners so apparently it was felt some incentives were in order to get traction for Forefront out of the gate. That being said, this was merely a broadening of the SSA program, which was started earlier in the year, to include the latest Forefront products.