June 1, 2018
That’s according to Kendra Krause, Sophos’ vice president of global channels. Nearly 600 partners gathered at last week’s Sophos Discover partner conference in Las Vegas. The theme of this annual Americas conference was “See the Future.”
The theme revolves around “talking about the innovation that Sophos is taking in our product lines and our channel approach,” she said.
Sophos’ Kendra Krause
“The fact that we’ve come out with our deep learning technology in the Sophos Intercept product allows the market to continue to change and us to still remain the best protection available,” Krause said. “We don’t have to know what that new threat of the day is going to be. The theme behind the innovation we provide today in Intercept X and are going to continue to provide in our products going forward is that we have developed predictive security. So we don’t have to worry about, “Is it a new form of ransomware today, is it a new type of phishing, what is it that’s happening?’ because predictive security allows us to stay ahead of any type of threats no matter what they are.”
The number of global partners selling both Sophos Central and XG products has increased more than 60 percent since last year. Also, cloud subscription billings continued to grow, with Sophos Central up 112 percent, to $186 million, compared to $88 million in fiscal year 2017.
The number of partners joining Sophos’ MSP Connect program grew 750 percent in fiscal year 2018 compared to the previous year. The program launched in April 2016.
“I felt like every conversation we had with every partner (during the conference) tied back to what they’re doing from a managed security standpoint,” Krause said. “I don’t think there are many partners out there left that haven’t added to their business or transitioned their business into MSP. It’s been fantastic, so that business is continuing to grow and adding more partners into it.”
Sophos’ latest fiscal year is “going to be different from a threat standpoint as the threats continue to evolve, and it’s easier to go out and create threats — it’s just becoming so rampant,” she said.
“Because of that and because of the predictive security that we’ve built with deep learning, we are set up and ready for that today,” Krause said. “And our focus is going to continue to be building on that innovation of predictive security and tying that in with other product lines that we have, and tying that in with synchronized security. We’re continuing to see some amazing growth, specifically in those product lines, and across our XG and our Central products because of that.”
Partners are interested in selling …
… an additional Sophos product line, as opposed to selling XG Firewall and not Sophos Central, and vice versa, she said.
“That’s an area of focus for us to give them the proper trainings and materials to get up to speed across the product line and that helps them sell synchronized security,” Krause said. “But I also talked to them about our MSP programs and I talked to them about our cloud-security provider program, and how to sell security when their clients are moving their infrastructure to the public cloud. And that was a big driver as well. Every year, more and more partners are seeing that opportunity and are not only selling products to ensure their customers are secure in moving to the cloud, but it’s been a very big tie-in with MSP, and a lot of these partners are really wrapping a lot of managed services around their customers moving to the cloud.”
Unlike just a few years ago, the conversations and focus of Sophos and its partners now are “very similar in what they’re seeing in the industry and how they want to approach it,” she said.
“All of these partners are looking at machine learning, all of these partners are looking at predictive security, and all of them are looking at the public cloud and ensuring that they’re offering support and services, and security for their customers moving to public cloud,” Krause said. “And all of them are talking about managed security services. That is different, and it says we’re doing the right thing and that there is that need out there for these partners to be experts in that market as well as offering all of those services to their customers — because those customers are demanding it.”
Karl Bickmore, CEO of Snap Tech IT, said what he needs from Sophos is continued channel support for sales, “continued excellence in their support, and continued industry leading innovation.”
“I want to top my year last year, and last year was our best year ever,” he said. “We see Sophos as a primary security vendor for our organization. We only see ourselves digging deeper into our partnership with them.”
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