The company formally launched as Aella Data at last year's RSA Conference.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

March 8, 2019

4 Min Read
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Security analytics provider Stellar Cyber recently closed $13.2 million in series A funding and soon will launch Starlight 3.0, a data-and artificial intelligence (AI)-driven platform for pervasive data collection, breach detection, investigation and response.

The company formally launched as Aella Data at last year’s RSA Conference with a team that hails from companies such as Fortinet, Barracuda and Netscreen/Juniper Networks. It recently rebranded to reflect its mission to “bring to light the darkness of network and computing environments by providing organizations better security visibility in an age of heightened cybersecurity threats and infrastructure complexities.”

Stellar Cyber said it will use the funds to accelerate its go-to-market expansion and growth across all departments including sales, marketing, engineering and product management.

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Stellar Cyber’s Jared Hufferd

“Our series A funding combined with our strong customer traction affirms the significance of our flagship product, Starlight,” said Changming Liu, Stellar Cyber’s CEO. “We have put into the hands of our customers and partners a powerful and comprehensive security operations center (SOC) solution that will protect them from the fates of Equifax and Marriott Hotels.”

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Jared Hufferd, Stellar Cyber’s vice president of Americas sales, talks about how his company works with partners and the advantages it has over its competitors.

Channel Partners: Tell us what customers love about your product or service. What’s the secret selling sauce?

Jared Hufferd: Stellar Cyber’s Starlight platform is the easy button for collection, detection, investigation and response (CDIR). Collecting the right data from all the right places, fusing and enriching that data (big data), then applying multiple machine learning (multi-ML) engines to that unique data set provides holistic visibility and true-positive, actionable detections. This is combined with incident response (IR) and threat-hunting workbenches for investigation, which can automatically feed into enforcement or remediation response.

CP: Describe your channel program — metal levels, heavy on certifications, open or selective, unique features?

7 Minutes” is a feature where we ask channel executives from startups – or companies that may be new to the Channel Partners audience – a series of quick questions about their businesses and channel programs.**

JH: We are selectively looking for security partners to sell, integrate and help customers with response. For resell, we have one level with great discounts and protection on registered deals, … margin protection and market development funds (MDF). We also have an agent program that feeds into our reseller program. In addition, there is a three-tier MSSP partner program.

CP: Quick-hit answers: Percentage of sales through the channel, number of partners, average margin. Go.

JH: 100 percent through channel partners, 24 [partners] worldwide, 35 points off list to partners equals 20 points average margin after negotiated discounts.

CP: Who are your main competitors, and what makes your offering better?

JH: Because we collapsed the stack of standalone products to be just a feature in our SOC command center, we have many overlapping competitors. Imagine you took Vectra, Sourcefire, FireEye and Splunk, and made one platform for a security analyst. That is what we created. And the reason that we could do that and no other company can right now is because …

… we did the data fusion on packet data, log data and server data first.

CP: How do you think your technology portfolio will change in the next three years?

JH: Right now, we deliver our data processors and family of sensors as turnkey appliances, software and in our customers’ cloud environments. We will eventually offer a SaaS model for even more rapid deployment.

CP: How do you expect your channel strategy to evolve over that time frame?

JH: The evolution of our program will be focused on more enablement and demand generation — weekly training opportunities, increased MDF and field support.

CP: What didn’t we ask that partners should know?

JH: The Stellar Cyber team attributes most of our past successes at places like NetScreen, Fortinet and Cisco to our channel partners. We are committed to our 100 percent channel model as we know it will create mutual success.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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