Secureworks embarks on channel-first approach

Security player is determined to put its business through partners and is putting the pieces in place to support that ambition

Secureworks is pursuing a channel-first strategy and making progress as it builds its relationships with partners and distributors.

The security player has been on a journey of transition, initially moving eight years ago from being an MSSP to become an XDR specialist with its own threat intelligence resources that can update its defences in real time.

It has become clear to the firm that a channel-first approach is the key to widening its reach and growing market share, and one of those tasked with making that a reality is Simon Moor, who was recently appointed to the EMEA sales role at Secureworks.

“Historically, we were a managed security service provider,” said Moor. “We have completely stopped doing that, so we are therefore rebuilding our partner community. We are working with organisations like Ignition Technology to recruit the right partners to offer our managed XDR capability or just to resell our software.

“We launched last month globally a new way of us going to market that is partner-first, all new business through our partners. We have kicked that off in North America already and are in the process of recruiting the partners in EMEA to be 100% channel in the first part of next year.”

The firm already puts at least 80% of its business through the channel, but Moor wants to build on that and make it a truly partner-first organisation. The business works with Ignition in the UK, but other disties are being signed up across EMEA.

“We are looking at different distributors in the Middle East and across the whole of continental Europe,” said Moor.

“I want our partners to be able to augment our capabilities with other services, with other vendors, with each other, so we build in really interesting go-to-market propositions.”

Moor said the benefits of the partner-first approach would not only be gaining a wider geographical coverage, but it also expected its position in key vertical markets to be bolstered by working with channel experts.

“We don’t want to recruit hundreds of partners – that’s not the plan at all,” he said. “Our plan is to recruit an appropriate number so we have the right skills, but we are really relevant to those partners, so they can make some really good money and we continue to invest in demand generation.

“What we have got to do is make sure we have the right channel. We are still recruiting partners and certainly we are really keen to recruit.”

Moor added: “It’s an incredible journey we’ve been on to switch our customers from this very bespoke [MSSP] service to XDR, which we manage constantly with updates as a SaaS [software as a service] offer. To go from being largely direct sales to channel sales – it’s a really good moment for us.”

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