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New Fidelis Cybersecurity channel VP ups partner focus

Eddie DeWolfe, who became Fidelis Cybersecurity's channel vice president earlier this month, said the company is pursuing a more focused and strategic approach with partners.

As Fidelis Cybersecurity attempts to grow its customer base in the U.S., Latin America and Europe, the company recently revealed plans to establish a three-tiered partner program -- Authorized, Premier and Elite -- to boost strategic partners and provide deal registration priority.

The company's partner program aims to provide easier access to resources and training while also offering market development funds and sales support.

Heading the new channel approach at Fidelis Cybersecurity is Eddie DeWolfe, who was announced in June as the company's vice president of global channels and alliances. DeWolfe recently discussed the shifts he's seen among cybersecurity resellers and his company's plans to attract partners to its resale initiatives.

Editor's note: The following was edited for brevity.

What are the biggest trends that you are seeing among cybersecurity channel partners?

Eddie DeWolfe: Over the last couple of months, in particular, I am starting to see a lot of partners who may not have been specifically focused on cybersecurity starting to get into that game. They may have been doing something else within IT and they've built those trusted relationships and because of that they are being asked questions about cybersecurity. I think part of the reason this is happening is because their resellers and/or distributors have become really big and really have just become what I call pass through enablers and are not necessarily viewed as a strategic partner for a customer or a trusted advisor for that customer. Many companies I've talked to are just looking for massive growth and want to position themselves more as a system integrator.  At the same time, there are some really good boutique resellers that still exist that have the focus that we are looking for, which is a focus on security and on building out a specific solution stack with best-of-breed products.  

What is the challenge for cybersecurity resellers of building out a specific stack with best-of-breed products?

Eddie DeWolfeEddie DeWolfe

DeWolfe: The biggest challenge is that there is a massive amount of vendors in security and a lot of the marketing says the same thing.  Everybody uses machine learning, everybody uses artificial intelligence and everybody is 99% effective. A security reseller has to wade through all of that noise to try to find what products actually do what they say and what products will actually bring about value to their customers. This is a challenge for our partners, for our customers and for us because it muddies the waters for those technologies that have been around for a while and are already vetted through the market. 

There are many cybersecurity companies that have mature partner programs and established security tools on the market. How does Fidelis Cybersecurity intend to convince partners that its technology is better than competing technology? 

DeWolfe: What we are seeing a lot of partners do now is move into managed security services, managed detection and response and instant incident response services. Our product is very well suited for these types of channel companies because there are so many point solutions on the market and many vendors are not bringing to the market a complete solution that addresses a larger, overarching cybersecurity issue. Their products might answer one small section of concern, but what Fidelis brings to the table is a security platform that is inclusive of endpoint network and deception that really can help to shrink the security stack. For partners offering managed security services, the manageability of a dozen or more point solutions becomes very daunting and very expensive, and everybody knows that there is a massive shortage of workers in the cybersecurity community so every time you add a point solution you need to add somebody that understands how to use it.

What specific plans do you have to grow Fidelis Cybersecurity's channel going forward?

DeWolfe: Fidelis has been around for a long time and it has a lot of legacy partnerships. In the past, we signed a lot of partners and just kind of expected something to happen. Now we are more focused and more strategic. We are reviewing every partner we have and we've decided to weed out those that we are not in mutual agreement with and focus our time on those that we can have a mutually beneficial relationship with and that we want to go to market together with. We've decided, let's push those to the side and let's bubble up to the top those that aren't currently working with us, but want to work with us and are committed to writing a full go-to-market plan and marketing strategy with us.

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