Security player CrowdStrike is looking to crank up the investment it makes in its top-level partners as one of its priorities for the year ahead.
The vendor operates with a three-tiered partner base – associate, focus and elite – and is looking at increasing the support and rewards it can provide those Elite resellers that have made investments into selling and supporting the firm’s technology.
Matthew Polly, vice-president of worldwide business development alliances and channels at CrowdStrike, said that the endpoint protection specialist was keen to reward those that showed the vendor commitment.
“We’re going deeper and deeper with those that have made big investments with CrowdStrike,” he added. “Those partners who are making investments in training, education, picking up the new product specific to our cloud workloads, picking up the new products from our identity acquisition earlier last year and building practices around CrowdStrike solutions that will help the customer.”
“There will be more emphasis and more dedicated resource going into the elite partners who’ve really proven that they’re interested in not only reselling CrowdStrike but servicing the customers,” he said.
Last year, CrowdStrike indicated that it was looking to grow its MSP base and Polly said that those efforts had been successful. “The number of partners has grown really rapidly,” he said. “We’ve actually put a fair amount of development not only into our programmes, but also into our product to support the MSPs.”
“We put a lot of investment into not only our pricing, licensing and the commercial side of the house for MSPs, but now we’ve actually released some product capabilities which will accelerate their ability to go to market with their customers,” he added.
The MSP push and the expanding portfolio have created more opportunities for additional channel partners to get involved with the firm. Polly said that the door remained open to signing up more resellers where it made sense.
“Oftentimes we find that different partners service in different categories in different territories, so we’re always open to exploring and finding how the partner may be differentiated, what capabilities they have, what either strata or vertical of the market they serve and filling gaps,” he said.
Polly said that even before the coronavirus pandemic struck it was shaking up the security market and it offered an alternative to established players.
“We’ve stepped into endpoint security with a cloud based solution and it’s completely disrupted all the on-premise incumbents, taking market share at really rapid rates, winning customers at extraordinary rates...and we do it largely through partners,” he said.
“The whole work from anywhere and Covid-19 disruption of business, actually created more threat vectors for the adversaries and they’ve been on the attack. So the opportunity to help customers is has never been never been more needed,” he added.
Kaspersky warned last week that the demand for endpoint protection had led some customers to opt for inferior solutions from some vendors, leaving themselves exposed to risk. Polly agreed that the channel had a role to play in informing customers about what technologies would protect their data.
“There definitely is some education that still needs to take place. Endpoint protection is a crowded, or has been historically a crowded space, but I think we’ve seen a few a few winners filter to the top,” he said.