Sophos and Splunk register spikes in channel activity

Vendors share details of increased activity on the channel front over the course of the coronavirus pandemic

The past few months have seen customers embrace home working and accelerate digital transformation strategies as they react to the pandemic.

Reports coming out of vendors indicate it is not only customers that have been busy during the coronavirus, but also managed service providers (MSPs) and cloud specialists.

One example came from Sophos, which has seen its managed service partner community grow sharply worldwide as more partners reach out for security solutions. The vendor revealed that the number of MSPs signed up to its Connect programme had increased by 30% since April and billings had climbed by 56% in the same period.

Even before the coronavirus struck, Sophos had been taking steps to make life better for MSPs. Last autumn, the firm rolled out its Managed Threat Response service to partners, followed in December by further enhancements to its Connect programme, including flexible billing options for its Optix solution, which secures user assets based in public clouds along with expanded professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) integration options.

The total number of MSPs globally now working within the Sophos programme has hit 12,500, with the Americas and Western Europe driving a lot of that growth.

“Channel partners have a tremendous opportunity to secure organisations from complex ransomware, like the recent Maze, WastedLocker and Dharma attacks, and other threats – including this year’s surge in attack campaigns preying on mounting coronavirus fears,” said Scott Barlow, vice-president of global MSP at Sophos.

“MSPs are also increasingly finding themselves under attack through RMM and PSA tools, misconfigured firewalls and endpoints, and targeted phishing scams. Sophos reduces these risks, and Sophos’s recent growth momentum is a direct reflection of its proven track record in securing partner and customer environments,” he added.

“Channel partners have a tremendous opportunity to secure organisations from complex ransomware, including this year’s surge in attack campaigns preying on mounting coronavirus fears”
Scott Barlow, Sophos

Sophos is not alone in recording a surge of channel engagement, particularly since the start of the pandemic, with Splunk also sharing details of its increased partner activity.

The firm is holding its .conf20 event this week, but before that gets underway it revealed that its Partner+ programme was now supporting more than 2,000 global firms. Splunk recorded a 42% increase in new partner user accounts created in the first half of the year.

“Covid-19 has accelerated the move to digital technology, but this transformation can add immense complexity without a strategic cloud and partner strategy,” said Bill Hustad, vice-president of global GTM partners at Splunk.

“Splunk has continued to focus on developing our vast network of partners to help accelerate our customers’ journey to the cloud, making it easier than ever to focus on key business outcomes,” he added.

The firm has had more than 6,300 individual partner registrants for .conf20, which follows on from months of increased activity on its channel portal.

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