ncpSome folks think that recessions are exactly the wrong time to introduce new products. Sadly, these industry laggards miss out on the great advantage that recessionary times bring to vendors. Fortunately, NCP and Brockmann & Company (and many others I’m sure) believe that recessionary times are EXACTLY the right time to introduce new products.

That’s because:

  • Prices for marketing services such as advertising, PR agency fees, consulting and contracting are lower. These service providers’ sales teams are working to keep production to capacity and will do deals to at least cover costs, if that means a new client or saved client.
  • Editors of websites and trade magazines are tired of the bad news because the readers are tired of bad news. They are looking to write/talk about people and organizations that are in it for the long haul and have something positive to say.
  • Analysts and opinion leaders are keen to explore potentially hot new areas, and so have the time open on their calendars to listen and write about new product introductions.
  • Customers have time to discover and learn about new and interesting products and services that solve real business problems.

NCP, the German VPN security company plans to introduce the NCP Secure Enterprise Server and the NCP Secure Enterprise Management System to the US market. Until now, only the client has been available for download, sale and support from NCP. For the first time users can purchase licenses to the server that terminates the IPSec and SSL clients through a newly forming network of NCP authorized security resellers.

Secure Enterprise Server

Software is designed to enable large scale terminations of both IPSec and SSL sessions, providing a monitoring window and control point for any VPN connection to the enterprise network. This way, the same security policies can be applied regardless of access methodology. The recommended configuration of hardware and software (NCP software is integrated onto a hardware platform by the reseller) platforms can support a high availability load balancing service for SSL session integrity and quality. The architecture is scalable to as many as 10,000 concurrent SSL sessions.

The server supports termination of iPhone VPN clients including PPTP, L2TP and Cisco IPSec. And for Windows shops, the software can be loaded onto Windows Server 2008 (32 or 64-bit servers) or Linux. (The client already supports Symbian OS).

The server can also provide a VPN-oriented Network Access Control to confirm policy settings (presence of updates and patches) and initiate remediation services to ‘clean up’ poorly managed devices BEFORE they attach to the enterprise network.

Secure Enterprise Management System

Once an enterprise gets to about 100 or so clients, the time and cost of effective management of the VPN communications system overwhelms the general deployments. At that level, enterprises need professional tools to managed the automated deployment of software, the management of updates and surveillance of the sessions.

The management system acts as the central point of control for administration, configuration and operation and can be integrated with LDAP or Active Directory services for Identity and Access Management controls such as password authentication, or other methods or policy services. Activity logs record what VPN-attached users did while connected, providing an effective central audit trail in the event of suspicious activities, and software version control features assure that plugin updates and configuration settings can be delivered over the LAN without necessarily engaging in a VPN connection.

The SEMS can also pass information up into higher level enterprise management applications.

I’m confident that NCP will discover that a recession is precisely the right time to expand their footprint in the US and introduce the server and management software products. The power of their careful approach to the market – downloadable clients first and then servers with plenty of reseller value-add to be enabled – will certainly attract clever security resellers who appreciate quality product and focused market entry. Besides, NCP knows many client users that are looking for more sophisticated and complementary server solutions that can support their environments and security requirements for an array of remote and mobile device implementations.


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