CrowdStrike looking to grow MSP channel base

CrowdStrike’s freshly appointed European channel head has already identified areas where she can make a difference

A change of job often involves moving location or even country. This was the case for Amanda Adams, CrowdStrike’s recently appointed channel head for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), who arrived in London the day before the coronavirus lockdown.

She has had to move to a new country and build relationships with local colleagues and partners – all during a pandemic.

Luckily, Adams is no stranger to the channel operations at endpoint protection specialist CrowdStrike, having been at the security player for three-and-a-half years. She was involved with the most recent enhancements made to its partner programme, before stepping into her latest role as senior director of European alliances.

Right now, naturally, most of the attention is on helping partners get through coronavirus, with CrowdStrike keen to provide flexible options that partners can present to customers. One of these is the chance to offer users licences to cover the explosion in devices being used by home workers.

“We have allowed them to extend licensing count with no additional costs,” said Adams. This initiative has proved popular with customers that have had to quickly set up their teams at home in the lockdown.

Communication with partners and regional account managers has been stepped up to make sure everyone is able to flag the need for support, and resellers have been doing the same with their customers. CrowdStrike has also been sharing the trends spotted by its intelligence teams to ensure customers are kept up to speed on the latest threats.

There has been an explosion in cyber attacks trying to exploit vulnerable home workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the vendor has seen increased demand and reported growth in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year.

What partners can expect to see from Adams and CrowdStrike is more opportunities to work in a wider ecosystem, with efforts being stepped up to allow the channel to access a larger solution sale.

“We are focused on our alliance partners that will work with our channel partners,” she said.

There will also be more activity around managed service providers (MSPs), with the vendor building on a programme it launched earlier this year to reach out more to that channel community.

“There has been an increase in inbound requests from MSPs. That will be a focus for us – to expand the MSPs across Europe, but particularly in the UK,” said Adams.

To support that ambition, the firm has increased headcount and has been highlighting the options it has for those partners. They include going after concerned customers that are worried about “legacy displacement” caused by the actions of other vendors and underlining the links that CrowdStrike has made with other vendors.

“We have over 81 integrations with tech alliance partners today,” said Adams. “We have a lot of options, so are looking to be more flexible.”

She added that it was also building out cloud relationships with the likes of Amazon Wed Services (AWS).

Adams concluded by stating that she saw a part of her role being to ensure that she could take global channel efforts and make them relevant to local partners.

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