AT&T Partners Weigh Cybersecurity Challenges, AppSmart Teams with Dropbox

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

November 3, 2021

3 Min Read
Cloud security

Channel partners are examining how they fit into the cybersecurity landscape, according to AT&T executives.

It almost goes without saying that COVID-19 created a new set of challenges for businesses. Chris Jones, associate vice president of channel Sales for the AT&T Alliance Channel and ACC Business, said the exodus to remote work created problems for the traditional security apparatus.


AT&T’s Chris Jones

“Companies all over the country picked up employees and sent them all over the place. And that took the historically locked up security profile of an enterprise and turned it on its head, with all your employees walking out of the building with their computers and setting up at home or wherever,” Jones said. “And I think it created a really an incredible opportunity for the hacker community.”

5G Security

Theresa Lanowitz, head of evangelism for AT&T Cybersecurity, spoke on Tuesday at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo about security risks. Lanowitz shared data regarding how prospective customers feel about cybersecurity, particularly as it pertains to 5G and mobility.

One key data point is that people are divided on how inherently secure 5G is. AT&T found that 50% of people consider 5G to be secure from the outset. The other 50% worry about how 5G will create an expanded attack surface by enabling new IoT devices.

Lanowitz compared 5G security to trends in public cloud security 10 years ago.


AT&T Cybersecurity’s Theresa Lanowitz

“Many organizations would say, I’m running on my favorite public cloud platform. Therefore I don’t have to worry about securing my applications.’ We all know that that was not the answer. So we saw this advent of a shared responsibility model for the cloud. We now have to call for the shared responsibility model for 5G as we embark on this new generation,” Lanowitz said.

Jones said he has seen an uptick in AT&T partners that are selling cybersecurity services.

“As we have those conversations, the opportunities that are presenting themselves are amazing,” Jones told Channel Futures.

AppSmart Adds DropBox

AppDirect announced that the AppSmart marketplace now includes the Dropbox product suite. Channel partners can resell or refer Dropbox’s cloud storage and file synchronization offerings.

AppSmart executives said agreement helps partners offer a more complete portfolio. For example, one technology advisor had been helping a customer adopt UCaaS, CCaaS and security offerings.


AppDirect’s Dan Saks

“And as they’re getting to security, they preach conversations around backup, sharing and collaboration,” AppDirect President and Co-CEO Daniel Saks told Channel Futures. “And that’s where AppSmart’s prowess comes in with our  native cloud solutions.”

Saks said he has known the DropBox team since the company’s inception. Moreover, DropBox has teamed up with AppDirect in the past. Now that partnership is expanding to AppSmart and its channel partners.

“One of the things that they’re always looking for is new and unique opportunities to meet business customers. And this channel community has access to a very different type of customer than they would not normally be able to access,” Saks told Channel Futures.


Dropbox’s Deb McClure

Deb McClure, Dropbox’s vice president of sales for the Americas at Dropbox, said the company relies on strategic channel partners to go to market quickly.

“With AppSmart, Dropbox solutions are available on a leading marketplace for cloud services with a large and growing base of technology advisors and end users,” McClure said.

The agreement will expand in early 2022 beyond AppSmart advisors to include “any merchant who uses AppDirect.”

AppSmart last month expanded its relationship with Google partnership to include Google Cloud Platform (GCP). GCP joins AWS Elastic Compute Cloud and Microsoft Azure on the AppSmart marketplace.



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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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