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In our latest 7 Minutes installment, we catch up with Carbon Black channel chief Ken Hammond.
June 16, 2017
**Editor’s Note: “7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**
Carbon Black is red hot. It’s swept up some $191 million in funding and is publicly gunning for endpoint protection competitors like Cylance, Crowdstrike and SentinelOne — riders in what 2112 Group’s Larry Walsh calls “the four horsemen of the security apocalypse,” referring to the market share they’re taking from legacy antivirus suppliers.
Carbon Black markets its Cb Response solution as a certified-by-PCI-DSS replacement for antivirus, a major selling point for customers tired of layering on new security products and who recognize that traditional AV is largely ineffective against today’s attacks.
Carbon Black’s Ken Hammond
SentinelOne also has the PCI-DSS designation.
In its most recent Next-Generation Endpoint Security Market Sizing and Forecast report, Enterprise Management Associates estimated that Carbon Black holds 24.4 percent of the Proactive Endpoint Security market. Cisco follows with 16.2 percent. “Other” is at 26.4 percent, showing the competitiveness of this space.
Carbon Black this week released Cb Response 6.1, aimed at SOCs, MSSPs and incident response teams, and we asked Ken Hammond, the company’s channel chief, why partners should sell it. Hammond came to Carbon Black from Cisco, where he led partner security sales globally. He also served as Symantec’s global partner alliance manager.
Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?
Ken Hammond: Carbon Black customers love that we have our roots in developing robust and innovative endpoint-protection solutions. We also get feedback from partners and customers that every new product we bring to market is the very best.
For example, Cb Defense – our new and lightweight next-generation antivirus solution – stops more forms of cyberattack than competing solutions. Companies are rapidly adopting it as a replacement to legacy AV, which is struggling with attacks that do not rely on malware.
CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?
KH: Carbon Black sells via authorized solution providers, MSSPs and IR firms. No metal levels, onerous certifications or starting with a premise that the channel has to prove out every point of margin it makes per deal. Our program is extremely straightforward and designed to reward partners with high margins who hunt and provide incremental business. We have a dedicated partner support team, and a GTM partner enablement team, which, from partner feedback, is the most robust in the next-gen endpoint category.
CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.
KH: Carbon Black sells via partners. Our CEO is committed to our partner community. We don’t compete with 90+ MSSP/IR partners with an in-house MSSP and IR offering. Instead we enable our partners to provide the market with the most robust endpoint security platform on the market.
CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?
KH: Our main competition is inaction and the hope among customers that “no one wants to steal MY data” or “my legacy AV will be good enough.” Legacy AV products don’t catch the newest, attacks targeting endpoints and servers. Carbon Black has comprehensive protection with its three products: Cb Defense (NGAV), Cb Response (EDR) and Cb Protection (app control, whitelisting). No competitor has what we have. Customers come to us for a solution and they know we will continue to innovate.
CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?
KH: We will continue to innovate in the cloud and with our on-prem solutions. For example, we constructed the most sophisticated cloud-based, big-data platform in the security market. The Cb Collective Defense Cloud captures unfiltered endpoint data from 3,000 customers and 9 million endpoints, processing millions of events every day.
CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that timeframe?
KH: The strategy stays the same. Provide great products to our mutual customers with great profitability and ease of sale for our partners. We’re a growing company, more than doubling our employee count in two years. I expect to see continued growth in Next-Gen AV and expect Carbon Black to continue to add partners who previously sold only legacy AV.
CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?
KH: Carbon Black has an award-winning partner program built upon strong deal-registration. We have open APIs and integrations with more than 70 companies, including IBM, Splunk, VMware and more.
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