Ask just about any SMB owner what keeps him or her up at night, and you're likely to get an earful about virus attacks, lost data or the challenges involved when upgrading PCs. That's what the Yankee Group found in its 2004 IT infrastructure survey, and it's what drove Computer Associates (CA), one of the largest management software companies in the world, to develop the five protections suites it announced today.
Recognizing that SMBs represent an under-protected market, CA decided to create products that, according to David Luft, CA senior vice-president of product development, specifically address the needs of SMBs, and that these suites are a direct result of that initiative.
He pointed to the Yankee Group's survey, noting that 67 percent of SMBs said that protecting their business from security breaches was the top IT priority, followed closely by backing up and restoring data (60 percent). Nearly 55 percent of the SMBs said that they planned to upgrade their PCs in 2005.
The suites — one-stop, out-of-the-box solutions — protect desktops, laptops and servers and provide what Luft called the basic building blocks for protecting data — security, storage, and desktop migration. "Every company needs certain basic tools to protect their data regardless of the company's size or industry focus," he said.
The products incorporate several of the company's well-regarded software programs. eTrust Antivirus is designed to help you eliminate virus infections, facilitate administration and automate virus signature updates. BrightStor ARCserve handles the backup and data restore functions, while eTrust PestPatrol Anti-Spyware is on board to find and remove spyware, adware and other forms of malware.
The suites also include Desktop DNA Migrator, which, according to Luft, is one of the key elements that differentiate the suites from what CA competitors offer. The software is designed to transfer computer data and individual preferences from outdated computers to new PCs. "Companies tend to underestimate the time and effort it takes to replace PCs and migrate the data to the new replacements," he said. "Desktop DNA simplifies the process and can reduce the total cost of PC ownership."
Available in five iterations and 17 languages, each of the suites include the security, data backup and data migration components mentioned above. They range in price from a flat-fee of $325 to $1,099 for a five-user license. You can purchase additional licenses in five, 10 or 20-user increments, and the annual maintenance fee comes in at 20 percent of the original purchase price.
- CA Desktop Protection Suite for protecting data on desktops and laptops
- CA Server Protection Suite for protecting centrally stored and managed data — i.e., servers
- CA Business Protection Suite for protecting data on both servers and desktops
- CA Business Protection Suite for Microsoft Small Business Server Standard Edition for SMBs using or planning to use the standard edition of Microsoft's Small Business Server
- CA Business Protection Suite for Microsoft Small Business Server Premium Edition for SMBs using or planning to use the premium edition of Microsoft's Small Business Server
According to Sanjeev Aggarwal, a senior analyst at the Yankee Group, the CA announcement is nothing but good news. "The fact that CA — perceived to be a high-end company — is entering the SMB market is very positive for small-and-medium businesses," he said. "Their expertise, strength and focus in the channel — and the overall class of product — will make an effective solution for SMBs."
Aggarwal went on to say that SMBs could benefit from what CA has done. "SMBs need easy-to-use products because they have limited IT resources. CA has focused ease of use. That's good news for the more than five million SMBs in the US."
Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com
|Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!|