Jakub Jirsk - Fotolia
The demand for cyber security support has continued to increase over the past year, but not every channel player is in a position to confidently meet those needs from their customers.
The options facing those in that position are broadly to invest in cyber skills or partner with someone who can do that heavy lifting for them. From a vendor point of view, those partner interactions can either be encouraged through the ecosystem or there can be more direct intervention to hand-hold partners through sales.
Trustwave has opted for the later approach with its referral partner programme, which gives resellers the chance to meet customer security needs with the vendor plugging their capability gaps.
“Cyber security has become a vital component of successful business operations and its demand is exponentially growing across markets,” said Elliott Welsch, director of global channels at Trustwave. “What we saw as we’ve been through the last year with Covid is that cyber security is becoming even more important as new vulnerabilities have emerged based on the fact that people are working from home.”
Welsch added that Trustwave was seeing its traditional partners continue to surf the wave of demand from customers, but there were also other partners that worked with users that would be left behind without the referral programme.
“These non-traditional partners typically are not interested in selling security services or products because they don’t have the security expertise, or they haven’t built up the staff or infrastructure, but they still want to serve their customer base adequately and build those relationships,” he said.
By providing resources and assistance to those that want to deliver security, Trustwave has also taken steps to make sure it can reward and identify those that drive the business through the referral programme and make it attractive to those that have not worked with the vendor before.
“We believe, based on the research we get with the resellers directly and the structure of the programme itself, that this will recruit new resellers that have traditionally not been focused on the security space to enter into it and bring their customers to best in class, services and products,” said Welsch.
“As a referral programme, one of the things that we’re saying is, you may have no experience or you may have some experience, but regardless of where you are on that journey as a partner, we are able to help you and strengthen your capacity, whether we are doing that as a peer referral or what we’re doing is offering you parts of our portfolio to enhance what you’re already doing today to fill in those gaps.”
Welsch pointed out that flexibility was a key attribute that the channel was looking for from vendors, and it was determined to meet that need. “The channel is going to be even more important as we get into 2021,” he said. “The flexibility that we’re already beginning with is going to be more important.”