Critical Start's MDR business grew 300% in 2018.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

October 9, 2019

3 Min Read
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Critical Start, the Texas-based company that built its own managed detection and response (MDR) platform, has shifted its go-to-market strategy to be completely focused on the channel.

Critical Start said it has been investing in its channel to expand nationally and capitalize on its accelerating MDR growth.

Dwayne Myers, Critical Start’s vice president of channels and alliances, tells us his company wanted to expand beyond its current primary markets, which are Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.


Critical Start’s Dwayne Myers

“Our MDR business grew 300% in 2018 so in order to take that to the next level we want to expand nationally,” he said. “We also wanted to align more closely with our technology partners in the MDR stack (Carbon Black, Palo Alto Networks, Cylance, Microsoft and so on) so that it is easier for partners to sell our MDR in conjunction with our technology partners.”

Critical Start has signed distribution agreements with Ingram Micro and Synnex, giving the MDR provider access to their nationwide networks of cybersecurity resellers. It also is in discussion with additional distributors and resellers to increase its presence in specific geographic regions as well as industry verticals, including state and local governments, manufacturing, and banking and finance, which are increasingly targeted by ransomware and other security threats.

Critical Start’s MDR deals now will go through the channel and its MDR sales representatives will work directly with reseller partners on opportunity-based deal registration. Critical Start’s enhanced channel program also will include market development funds and partner-specific training, as well as tools and technology for partner sales enablement.

Here’s our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.

The strategy shift will make it easier for partners because it is a very similar sales and go-to-market process with the companies in Critical Start’s MDR stack, Myers said.

“For example, a Palo Alto Networks partner selling XDR licensing can also sell our MDR licensing to a customer at the same time,” he said. “It will also help resellers to streamline when they are selling our tech stack partners and our MDR together. Customers will benefit by having fewer partners to work with when buying the solution, too.”

Critical Start wants to make sure that customers on a national level are able to “operationalize their investments in these advanced endpoint protection and detection/response technologies,” Myers said.

Patrick Zanella, security practice lead with Integration Partners, a Critical Start partner, said the new all-channel strategy means Critical Start has made a commitment to the channel because it realizes the increased exposure the channel brings to more companies and a larger market.

“Our teams know that when they work with Critical Start folks in their area, they’re not competing for the same business, they’re partnering for the same business,” he said.

Critical Start’s MDR services support a wide range of enterprise security technology partners such as Palo Alto, Carbon Black, Cylance, Microsoft and Splunk.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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