If I told you there was a business model that would sell more of your product, generate monthly recurring revenue, and increase customer loyalty, what would you say? Would I be labeled as crazy? What’s the catch?

Value added resellers (VARs) take heed: managed security service providers (MSSPs) fit the bill and soon may take your customers. While it certainly is not trivial to stand up an MSSP, the potential benefits have been noted. Equipment vendors such as Fortinet, StoneSoft, Palo Alto, and Sophos offer reseller programs with special pricing and incentives for MSSPs, and this has caused more and more traditional partners to consider the move to MSSP.

In today’s market, it has become difficult to distinguish between many value-added resellers (VARs) and MSSPs. VARs have found that they can increase loyalty through managed security services (MSS) offerings and thus take advantage of monthly recurring revenue (MRR). Vendors constantly seek ways to increase customer loyalty and sales, and end user organizations, particularly small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), struggle to manage local security systems thus value the ability to outsource security to a trusted provider.

However, as the conversation changes from products to services, the key question for end-user organizations to ask is this: “Do VARs have the ability to deliver the same level of service as a top tier MSSP?” Another challenge for these VARs turned MSSPs relates to their ability to engage in consultative selling rather than selling security services in the same way that they have sold products.

The recent brief, “Maturing VARs Offer New Outsourcing Option,” explores the ever-changing MSSP landscape and has particular focus on the way in which dedicated partner programs that target MSSPs are changing the security service delivery landscape. Security no longer is just about selling the latest and greatest product but more and more requires a holistic, integrated approach to the customer’s business. What happens to vendors that traditionally have sold products as they add services to their portfolio? Will they drive a stronger trusted relationship, or will they frustrate customers with an incomplete offering?