Secureworks Channel Program Launches in Shift Beyond Direct Sales Focus

The new program includes rebates, discounts, MDF, training and a partner portal.

Jeffrey Schwartz

May 21, 2020

4 Min Read
Gear Shift

A new Secureworks channel program aims to sell more through partners, shifting the company’s focus beyond traditional direct sales.

The Secureworks Global Partner Program, debuting Thursday, signals the managed security service provider’s new embrace of the channel.

Included in the Secureworks channel program are base rebates, discounts for net-new customers, marketing development funds (MDF) and training. It also features Secureworks’ first partner portal, where partners can register deals and access technical, industry and marketing resources.

Chief channel officer Maureen Perrelli said her team designed the program so partners can more easily engage with the company.


Secureworks’ Maureen Perrelli

“What we’ve built here is a performance-based program,” Perrelli told Channel Futures. “That means the more a partner achieves with Secureworks, the more they will earn and the more profitable they will become.”

Perrelli said the program doesn’t have any tiers or thresholds that Secureworks channel partners must meet. Likewise, she emphasized that partners can choose any model they prefer.

Partner Options and Incentives

“That means if you want to be a referral partner, where you bring opportunities in, but then we close it for you, we’re happy to do that,” she said. “And if you want to be a resale partner, which I imagine a lot of partners will want to do, you can come in and register the opportunity with us and let us know what support you might need to help close that business.”

Until now, Secureworks didn’t offer partners those resources or incentives, Perrelli said.

“There was a channel account manager relationship with a partner in the field, working together without the backend benefits or incentives and the collateral assets that are now available,” she said.

Perrelli was leading NCR’s global channels when Secureworks CEO Michael Cote recruited her as channel chief in November. Perrelli, a veteran channel executive who has also managed partner programs at Oracle and GE, reports directly to Cote. Back in November, after arriving at Secureworks, Perrelli told Channel Futures that she planned to enhance the company’s partner program.

Cote, Secureworks’ CEO for 18 years, acknowledged the need to further embrace and engage with partners.

“While we have historically sold direct, we realize more companies around the world need the Secureworks advantage,” Cote said during the company’s earnings call in March. “We are focusing on expanding our reach through our channel program, which is sharing our market-leading security expertise, so partners can leverage our products and services to sell their customers a complete security solution.”

Industry analyst Craig Robinson, program director for IDC’s security services practice, said partners should fine the new channel program appealing.


IDC’s Craig Robinson

“The fact that they’re letting channel partners dictate the terms of their engagement makes it more enticing,” Robinson said.

Addressing a New Security Landscape

The Secureworks channel program is part of Cote’s blueprint to reach more customers. Focusing on the shifting security environment, Cote is also overhauling Secureworks’ marketing efforts with new digital demand-generation programs.

Over the past year, Secureworks has grown closer to Dell Technologies, which owns 86% of the company.

For example, through an alliance with Dell, the Secureworks managed security services are available with commercial Dell PCs. Secureworks is also part of Dell’s new SafeBIOS Events and IoA, which adds BIOS-level protection for its commercial PCs.

Secureworks has also broadened its portfolio, notably with last year’s launch of Red Cloak Threat Detection and Response (TDR), a new SaaS-based threat analytics tool.

Nevertheless, Secureworks competes among a large industry of MSSPs. AT&T, CenturyLink, IBM, Optiv, Trustwave and Verizon all offer managed security services. As reported earlier this week, expect managed security services to grow 8% per year through 2025, reaching $46.4 billion.

IDC’s Robinson said if Secureworks can draw reliable partners, it can help make the company more predictable.

“Every now and then over the years in their quarterly earnings, they’ve had a couple of misses,” he said. “I think going the channel route is going to give them some more predictability.”

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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