Symantecs Global Services division introduced a set of new professional services on Dec. 13 that promise to help businesses manage their infrastructure and data security operations via outsourcing and on-premises consulting arrangements.
Driven by demand from enterprise customers for new alternatives in mitigating their operational security risks, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company said the initial set of offerings, which cover everything from oversight of anti-virus applications to automated data backup and recovery, represent only the first in a long list of new services its hatching.
Symantec officials said that customers are tired of dealing with increasingly complex security management issues and seeking new ways to offload more of the work onto specialists in the name of saving time and money.
While some areas of security, and certain customers tastes, lend themselves to outsourcing, others will be best addressed by offering on-site consultants that can help solve the problem of finding and retaining skilled IT workers, company executives said.
"Symantec is overall moving toward a trend of outsourced managed services across the entire space of infrastructure security, and we will continue to develop services models for both remote management and on-site," said Jeff Russakow, vice president of product management for Symantec Global Services.
"Customers recognize that the challenge of handling all their security management effectively is great enough that it tips the balance in favor of using a trusted strategic partner," he said. "Theyd rather get it right with someone from the outside who they can trust, versus retain control of security management and perform poorly."
Symantec introduced two specific types of programs as part of the launch, offered under the Operational Services and Residency Services monikers.
Under the Operational Services format, customers will outsource management of security functions to Symantec professionals to be provided either on-site or remotely, or via a combination of both models. The first programs launched under the initiative are Symantecs Data Protection Operational Services, through which the company will offer to manage all its customers data backup and recovery processes in addition to providing remote threat monitoring and incident alerting.
Via the Residency Services model, Symantec will offer to provide on-site consulting experts to augment customers own IT staff for management of infrastructure security. In contrast to the Operational Services programs, which are marketed under traditional SLAs (service-level agreements), the Residency Services will employ a fee-based consulting structure, Symantec officials said.
As part of the launch, the company introduced its Data Protection Residency Services, which offer the chance to hire full-time on-site Symantec consultants to lend a hand in efforts around data backup and recovery, information protection readiness, security incident analysis and prevention, and execution of IT emergency response policies.
Symantec also rolled out its set of Anti-virus Residency Services, which offer on-site consulting for matters of data capture, security incident analysis, systems benchmarking and trending, customized reporting, and overall security project management.
"We have years of experience helping customers run these solutions on an ongoing basis, and were just formalizing all of that into a security services model," said Russakow. "For those companies that are very sensitive about keeping data on-site, we have the residency model where the data never leaves, while others, such as monitoring, lend themselves naturally to outsourcing."
At least one industry watcher said that demand for security services is likely to grow as companies seek new ways to improve their IT defenses while lowering administrative costs.
"Customer needs continue to evolve as the level of risk around managing IT infrastructure increases," Doug Chandler, an analyst with IDC, said in a report. "Many enterprise organizations, while not interested in full-scale outsourcing, would like to build a long-term relationship with a strategic IT consulting partner that can help manage their critical IT processes around security and availability."
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