Partner education and demonstrating customer value are a couple of the foundations that cyber security vendor CrowdStrike is emphasising in its ‘partner central’ approach.
“Activating, energising and inspiring the partner ecosystem is more critical than ever before and will help take us further in the market and multiply our efforts,” CrowdStrike chief business officer Daniel Bernard said during the vendor's APAC Partner Conference in Thailand.
Bernard laid out CrowdStrike’s key partner priorities in helping them leverage its 23 modules and areas of specialisation on its Falcon platform.
The security platform provider is currently exploring innovative ways to reward and upskill partners, hinting more details will follow later in the year.
This comes as CrowdStrike attempts to boost its recognition as a security platform provider and not only as an endpoint protection provider.
Indeed, the vendor is now building specialisations in cloud security, modern data management and data security areas, which represent a substantial addressable market for CrowdStrike, according to Bernard.
On top of demonstrating the benefits of a platform approach and driving consolidation, which he spotted as a massive opportunity for partners to play a key role in the customer environment.
“We’re helping partners learn about our capabilities as well as understand how to position and demonstrate value, which is really important,” Bernard said.
“CrowdStrike is one of the few companies that's been able to go from technology innovation to creating a fully-fledged platform, taking the customer on a journey from EDR [endpoint, detection and response] to cloud security, identity threat detection and response, and solving an overall data management and efficiency problem with LogScale, consolidating three or four different products into our platform."
According to analyst firm IDC, global spending on security solutions and services is forecast to topple US$219 billion in 2023.
Meanwhile, investments in hardware, software, and services related to cyber security are expected to reach nearly US$300 billion in 2026. This will be driven by the ongoing threat of cyber attacks, the demands of providing a secure hybrid work environment and the need to meet data privacy and governance requirements.
Setting a new partner standard
CrowdStrike is also on a mission to set the standard for how partners learn about platform-based technologies by creating specialisation education tracks. The vendor is also using value-based assessments for existing and potential customers to demonstrate gaps in current solutions, quantify risk and prove value.
“Those are all really critical elements for modern-day selling, alongside being able to really underscore the cost savings of moving to these solutions and standardising on a CrowdStrike platform approach,” he said.
“As we've expanded the platform into new categories that's where the opportunity is for partners to really take us further.”
In the A/NZ and ASEAN region, CrowdStrike APJ senior channel director Jon Fox said MSPs represented a rapidly growing part of the market. Recently, CrowdStrike added Pax8 to its distribution network alongside Nextgen Group.
“MSPs have continued to grow very well for us this year,” Fox said. “We’re trying to expand our footprint in that MSSP space and increasing module adoption within MSPs themselves, that's the key.”
Fox said there were many MSPs that didn’t have the skill set to deliver a fully managed security solution and this is where its Falcon Complete offering can augment and complement to help deliver the right skills.
“There are not enough cyber security skills in the market,” Fox said. “They're expensive, they're hard to find and when you do find them, you must work to keep them. Partners do need a little bit of help in augmenting the skill sets they've got to allow them to scale and flex as required. Falcon Complete can complement a partner's existing capability.”
In the A/NZ market, CrowdStrike maintains a strong foothold in the enterprise space, but there was also room to scale into the mid-market and SMB sectors too.
“The only way we can really do that is through our partner community,” he said. “How we build scalable solutions down into SMBs is critical.”
According to IDC, software will be the largest technology group in 2023, representing nearly half of all security spending in 2023 with endpoint security leading the software category, followed by identity and digital trust software and cyber security analytics, intelligence, response, and orchestration software.
Services will be the second largest technology group, led by the managed security services category with US$42 billion in spending expected this year, IDC said.
Julia Talevski attended CrowdStrike APAC Partner Conference 2023 as a guest of CrowdStrike.