Top Gun 51 Profile: Flashpoint’s Ayesha Prakash on Transforming a Channel OrganizationTop Gun 51 Profile: Flashpoint’s Ayesha Prakash on Transforming a Channel Organization
Prakash knows partner success isn’t just about deal sweeteners anymore.
November 6, 2019
Ayesha Prakash is awarded a Top Gun 51 designation because she is a trendsetter in a highly competitive field of accomplished winners. Transforming the channel organization means doing more than sweetening the deal for partners. In today’s world, it means breaking open a broader set of opportunities for both the organization and its partners. Prakash fully embraces that distinction in defining a successfully transformed channel organization.
Flashpoint’s Ayesha Prakash
“I started my career in technology sales working with service providers. When their businesses grew, so did mine. As a result, I was able to capture the value of two companies coming together to grow their businesses as partners and quickly learned what is required to create a mutually beneficial partnership,” she said.
“From that point on, whether I had a sales or marketing role, I enjoyed identifying opportunities for businesses to go to market together, deliver more value to more customers together, and generate more revenue together.”
Prakash is senior director of worldwide channels and partnerships at Flashpoint, a business risk intelligence company. She has been with the company for two years. Notably, she has led 150% year-over-year growth in the company’s global channel program.
She is a seasoned professional who repeatedly has been recognized as a leader in IT and in cybersecurity by several third-party organizations. Her experience prior to her stint at Flashpoint includes serving as director of channel sales at Invincea, now part of Sophos. Prakash is also a director on the Big Data Advisory and Cyber Security Advisory boards at Rutgers University and an active member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) and Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA).
We recently unveiled our “Top Gun 51,” a list of today’s channel executives who deserve recognition for building and executing programs in a way that drives partner, customer and supplier success.
Channel Futures: During your tenure, what milestones or accomplishments are you most proud of in transforming your channel organization?
Ayesha Prakash: I’m most proud of the growth and expansion of Flashpoint’s global channel program. Since its formal introduction in 2017, the program has grown 150% year over year and Flashpoint’s channel-driven revenue has also grown more than 200% since we signed our first partner in 2015. Revenue from the channel accounted for 45% of Flashpoint’s revenue in 2018, up from less than 10% in just a couple of years. I’m also proud of the fact that our global sales footprint is largely due to our partners. And, finally, I’m honored that our global channel partner program has received several industry awards.
CF: What business or market changes have you seen over the years that influenced channel trends in the market the most?
AP: There are two changes I’ve seen that I think have had a significant impact on the channel. The first is globalization. Today, thanks to digital transformation and automation, even small companies can be global companies by developing and nurturing an ecosystem of channel partners. The second is the transition from the traditional channel manager role, which is historically more tactical, to a more strategic partner sales manager role. I think this shift reflects a growing understanding of, and appreciation for, the fact that a successful partnership is not only about generating sales but also about …
… building and executing strategic go-to-market programs with another company.
CF: What new things are you working on now for your global channel program?
AP: The capabilities within the Flashpoint platform continually expand, which opens up additional opportunities with existing and new partners. So we are always working on expanding, customizing and targeting our training so that our partners can be true thought leaders who can offer specialized expertise to their customers. Recent examples include our CVE dashboard, card-shop dashboard and compromised credentials database. These are just a handful of the many exciting innovations we have made available to our partners to deliver added value to their customers.
CF: As a business risk intelligence company, what risks/trends do you think channel partners will be most challenged by in the next year or so — and why?
AP: Some of the more recent ransomware attacks you may have heard about were caused by third parties and thus underscore the challenges posed by third-party risk. The attacks I’m referring to entailed threat actors that targeted service providers to infiltrate their customers’ networks, which have included state and local governments, as well as small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Many studies show that for SMBs in particular, recovering from a cyberattack can be so difficult and costly that some are even forced to shut their doors. As a channel partner or service provider selling security offerings, you need to look inward and validate the strength of your own organization’s security posture. In other words, it’s essential to make sure you practice what you preach.
Read more about:MSPs
About the Author(s)
You May Also Like