JASK channel partner program looks for regional allies

JASK will initially target regional reseller partners and plans to eventually work with managed security service provider firms; other news from the week.

The JASK channel partnerprogram is looking for regional partners as it rolls out a go-to-market strategy for its security operations center platform.

JASK, based in San Francisco, earlier this month launched its JASK Answers for Channel Partners program. The 3-tier program includes deal registration and subscription renewals, sales support, training, and demand generation support. The company's Autonomous Security Operations Platform uses AI and machine learning to automate threat alert correlation and analysis.

Marc Davis, vice president of channels and partners, said JASK's management decided early on to cultivate partner sales. The company emerged from stealth in June 2017 and Davis was hired in October of that year to build the JASK channel partner program. Technology startups increasingly engage partners to expand their access to customer and markets.

Davis noted JASK's channel scope will eventually include national partners, but he said the company is building relationships with smaller firms. "Our initial focus is on getting the regional partners up and running and working for us," he said.

As for partner types, Davis said JASK will look for companies that focus entirely on security. But he added the company will also be happy to work with more generalist IT partners, provided they have some sort of cybersecurity practice.

"We need to work with partners that … understand the [security] landscape and the products that are out there and have a good idea of the needs of their customers," he explained.

Davis said he is also looking for partners with a good ratio of sales to systems engineering personnel, noting the importance of technology skills. The JASK channel partner program will develop a training course for partner systems engineers, offering courses in different cities in the U.S. western, central and eastern regions each quarter. While the course is in the works, JASK is training partners on a one-on-one basis.

JASK is also putting together a sales performance incentive fund (SPIF) program that will encompass a partner's technical team as well as its sales force. He said that program detail recognizes that "the tech guys are selling as much as sales."

At the moment, the JASK channel partner program is set up to support partners that resell the company's SOC platform to end customers. The platform's use cases include forensics investigations and threat hunting. Davis said JASK's AI-based platform relieves alert fatigue among SOC analysts, freeing them to make decisions around alerts.

Davis said he plans to also make managed security service providers (MSSPs) part of its channel program. Those companies would use JASK's platform to automate their in-house SOCs through which they support customers.

"More solutions providers are taking on … MSSP roles," Davis said. "The market is moving in that direction."

Report: MSSPs struggle with alert volume

That managed security service providers are inundated with security alerts is also the key theme of a report from Advanced Threat Analytics, a vendor of security event orchestration technology.

According to the study of about 50 managed security service providers, MSSPs spend much of their time and resources investigating security alerts, many of which turn out to be false positives. Forty-four percent of the MSSPs polled cited a 50% or higher false-positive rate. Almost 45% said they investigate 10 or more alerts daily, with 65% reporting that it takes 10 minutes or more, on average, to investigate each alert.

The majority of MSSPs said they have adjusted their SOCs to cope with alert volumes, the research noted. Sixty-seven percent of MSSPs said they will modify specific alerting features or thresholds to decrease high alert volumes. Other coping measures include ignoring certain alert categories, cited by 38%; switching off high-volume alerting features, cited by 27%; and hiring more analysts, cited by 24%.

Advanced Threat Analytics also asked respondents to describe their jobs' main responsibility. Seventy percent said their main focus is to analyze and remediate security threats, while 20% said their focus is to limit the number of alerts sent to clients for review. Five percent said their main responsibility is to investigate as many alerts they can, and 5% said they look to cut the time required in a security alert investigation.

Pivot3 grows channel partners 

Architecture and engineering consultants and surveillance systems integrators are contributing to the growth of Pivot3's partner base. 

Pivot3, a hyper-converged infrastructure vendor, recently reported a more than 65% sales increase from the half of 2017 to the second half of that year. The private company, based in Austin, Texas, also grew its channel during that timeframe: deal registrations grew more than 63%, while the number of channel partners expanded 26%. 

Mark Maisano, vice president of channel sales at Pivot3, said his channel program brought in industry experts in video surveillance, one of Pivot3's core markets, and cultivated relationships with partners in that sector. Those Pivot3 partners include architecture and engineering consultancies, which specify video surveillance systems for their clients, and surveillance and security systems integrators. 

Pivot3 has also enhanced relationships with its data center partners, according to Maisano. The company's data center business focuses on enterprise applications such as Oracle, SAP and Microsoft Exchange and data center modernization projects that call for hyper-converged technology. 

Maisano, who joined Pivot3 in March 2017, spent much of that year rebuilding the company's channel program in North America. His next step is to boost channel resources in international markets such as Latin America the EMEA and Asia. 

"We're taking what we did in North America and translating that into other regions of the world," he said. 

In addition, Pivot3 partners can expect to see the company increase its investment in tools available through the company's partner portal. The tools will let Pivot3 and its partners collaborate on joint-business plans and lead generation. 

The company partners with resellers, solution providers, distributors such as Arrow Electronics and technology companies. In the latter category, Pivot3 recently expanded its partnership with Zerto, a cloud-based disaster recovery vendor. Pivot3 said Zerto will be supported across its entire range of offerings.

Other news

  • OPAQ Networks, a network security cloud company, has joined Palo Alto Networks' NextWave Partner Ecosystem. Partnering with Palo Alto Networks lets OPAQ enable managed services providers (MSPs), MSSPs and value-added resellers to offer the security platform vendor's products as a cloud service to midsize companies. In January, OPAQ, based in Herndon, Va., launched a channel program and said it will sell exclusively through channel partners.
  • Anexinet Corp., a digital business solutions provider based in Philadelphia, has agreed to acquire Propelics, a San Jose, Calif., company that that specializes in enterprise mobility.
  • Flexxible IT, a virtual workspaces vendor, is targeting the small and midsized enterprise space with a new channel program. Launched with HP Inc., the program lets resellers to sell workspace offerings pre-integrated with Citrix and Microsoft software, Flexxible IT said. 
  • Connectivity vendor Cosemi Technologies signed a global agreement with Wesco International to distribute Cosemi's HDMI, DisplayPort 8K and USB active optical cables products. Cosemi noted it also has an OEM relationship with Liberty AV Solutions, a Wesco subsidiary, which will look to build partnerships with local distributors in regions where Cosemi lacks a presence. 
  • Cytracom, a VoIP provider that sells exclusively to channel partners, released its new Ivie integrated voice intelligence engine product. Cytracom said Ivie aims to help managed services providers offer managed VoIP services for small and medium-sized businesses and enterprises. 
  • BitTitan, a managed services automation company, appointed Pam Cory as vice president of marketing. Cory will lead product, brand and channel marketing for the company. Prior to the BitTitan post, Cory was head of marketing in Dell EMC's Emerging Technologies division.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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