The goal, according to David Luft, senior vice president of SMB product development at Computer Associates International Inc. of Islandia, N.Y., is to provide an easy-to-use, all-in-one solution that addresses the security, storage and data migration needs of SMBs.
The large and often under-protected SMB market is ripe for full protection against potential data loss, Luft said: "CA has conducted months of extensive research, which shows that SMBs want both security and data protection, and many are also considering PC upgrades in the coming year."
"CAs suites offer all the technology they need to address those concerns in a single package, from a single vendor at an attractive price point with great options for upgrades."
A complete end-to-end solution is exactly what SMBs need, and CA is on the right track, said Chris Liebert, a senior analyst at Yankee Group Research Inc. of Boston, Mass.
"It addresses some of the key challenges SMBs have. It has the magic formula for SMBs: simple installation, an out-of-the-box bundle, and its priced where they can afford it with the functionality they need," she said.
Ease of implementation, maintenance and management are particularly key for SMBs, Liebert said.
"Take a security solution. There are many software and hardware appliance vendors providing security solutions to SMBs, but then the SMB decision-maker has to figure out which is the best security solution to procure for each component he needs—anti-virus, spyware protection, firewall, etc. This eliminates that problem," she said.
The five suites CA is offering include CA Desktop Protection Suite for protecting data on desktops and laptops; CA Server Protection Suite for protecting centrally stored and managed data; CA Business Protection Suite for protecting data stored on desktops and servers; CA Business Protection Suite for Microsoft Small Business Server Standard Edition; and CA Business Protection Suite for Microsoft Small Business Server Premium Edition.
The new version also includes Desktop DNA Migrator, which helps users capture and transfer user settings and data during a PC refresh, operating system upgrade or desktop recovery.
Each of CAs Protection Suites offers anti-virus and anti-spyware technology, automated data backup and restore functions, and system migration technology.
Having all of these functions available from a single vendor is also key, Liebert said—something many vendors, with the exception of Hewlett-Packard Co., havent done.
"SMBs dont have the mind share to figure this stuff out themselves, so they really need vendors to develop solutions that provide end-to-end protection," she said. "SMBs buy in such a heterogeneous way that major vendors need to get in the game of providing an end-to-end solution."
The Protection Suites build on an earlier version, which was released earlier this year in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa). The new version will be released globally, and is offered in 17 languages. Prices range from $325 to $1,099 for a five-user license.
The Protection Suites will be available through all VARs via CAs trusted agent model, which compensates VARs for their role in the transaction, Luft said. The products also will be available in North America through CAs launch partners, including PC Mall Inc., TigerDirect.com Inc. and CDW Corp., as well as through CAs online store.