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Vendors step up MSSP partner initiatives in 2020

Security vendors are looking to MSSPs to drive their business growth in 2020. Find out about MSSP initiatives at SonicWall, BlackBerry Cylance and Siemplify.

Heading into 2020, security vendors are ramping up their efforts to appeal to MSSP partners.

Managed security service providers (MSSPs) continue to represent an important segment of the channel ecosystem, especially as anxiety around cybersecurity mounts for businesses of all sizes. The cybersecurity skills gap is just one of the factors pushing organizations to outsource their security needs to security-oriented service providers, which can often offer security capabilities at a price point that beats having an in-house security staff.

According to market researcher Frost & Sullivan, the global market for managed security services and professional services will hit $35.6 billion in 2023, increasing at a CAGR of 11.1%.

SonicWall upgrades its MSSP products and programs

SonicWall, a provider of firewalls and other security products, aims to recruit more MSSPs into its partner ecosystem in the coming year.

"We are constantly recruiting partners ... and [helping] our current partners enhance their capabilities," said Luca Taglioretti, vice president of global MSSP and carrier sales at SonicWall.

Luca Taglioretti, vice president of global MSSP and carrier sales at SonicWallLuca Taglioretti

SonicWall, which spun out from Dell in 2016, is bolstering its MSSP-related products and programs, Taglioretti said. This month, SonicWall upgraded its Capture Cloud Platform security suite for MSSPs to streamline operational processes such as account management, product registration, licensing and threat analysis. The company also released SonicWall Global Management System 9.2, which facilitates the deployment and management of SonicWall firewalls, wireless security, secure email and remote users, the company said. Global Management System integrates with MSP software vendor ConnectWise's professional service automation software, ConnectWise Manage

Additionally, SonicWall has begun piloting a program for making flexible monthly pricing available to MSSPs, Taglioretti said. According to SonicWall, the program provides a "pay as you go" model for the vendor's Capture Client and Cloud App Security offerings, with plans to extend to more SonicWall products and services in 2020.

"Now most of the customers are looking to pay [for] their services and also the security services on a monthly basis," Taglioretti said of the MSSP pricing program.

Taglioretti noted that SonicWall is currently working on the next iteration of its MSSP partner program.

BlackBerry Cylance

BlackBerry Cylance is also on the hunt for MSSP partners -- one of the highest growth areas within the vendor's channel ecosystem.

We are now having some of the larger MSSPs coming back to us to suggest that they also start offering Siemplify for resale.
Bradd BarmettlerGlobal head of channel, Siemplify

Cylance, which provides AI-based cybersecurity, was purchased by mobile device manufacturer BlackBerry Ltd. in February 2019. After acquiring Cylance, BlackBerry decided that the company would run as a separate business unit with its own partner program. BlackBerry Cylance does business with more than 350 MSSP today, according to May Mitchell, vice president of worldwide field and channel marketing.

May Mitchell, vice president of worldwide field and channel marketing at BlackBerry Cylance May Mitchell

In addition to MSSPs, BlackBerry Cylance's channel ecosystem includes technology integration partners, global systems integrators, distributors, OEMs and security-focused solution providers. Mitchell said some of the company's channel partners are also "hybrid," in that they deliver security solutions, as well as managed security services.

Mitchell said BlackBerry Cylance provides a multi-tenant console that gives MSSP partners "one single view of all the customers they are managing," as well as the ability to offer monthly billing to their customers. BlackBerry Cylance also integrates with ConnectWise's remote monitoring and management platform, ConnectWise Automate. "The platform of choice that we have decided to integrate with is ConnectWise," Mitchell said.

Mitchell added that the ConnectWise integration has given the company access to a large pool of MSSP partners to recruit from, Mitchell noted. She said BlackBerry Cylance will look to recruit MSSPs globally, citing North America, EMEA and APAC markets.

Siemplify scales its MSSP business

At Siemplify, a security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) platform vendor, MSSPs have been "one of the more profitable sides of the business ... to date," said Bradd Barmettler, Siemplify's global head of channel.

The company targets enterprise organizations and MSSPs. Barmettler said Siemplify currently does business with MSSPs that range from large to small organizations, and is scaling its sales team to push deeper into the MSSP market.

Bradd Barmettler, global head of channel at SiemplifyBradd Barmettler

Siemplify launched a global partner program, Partner First, for security-oriented resellers, large account resellers and systems integrators in February 2019. "We are now having some of the larger MSSPs coming back to us to suggest that they also start offering Siemplify for resale," Barmettler noted.

Barmettler said Siemplify has seen MSSPs adopting SOAR technology "much faster than enterprise organizations" typically do, yet many more organizations are now budgeting for SOAR platforms in 2020. SOAR platforms work alongside SIEM tools to reduce the complexity of daily processes for security teams -- a capability especially appealing to MSSPs, which can deploy to SOAR platforms internally to help deliver their managed security services.

Siemplify is looking to expand its channel partnerships and MSSP customers globally in the coming year. Barmettler said the company recently expanded its MSSP sales team and is also exploring new distribution partnerships in Latin America and APAC.

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