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Cybersecurity consulting, MSSPs in channel spotlight

Channel companies have put a premium on cybersecurity services in 2021. The latest round of market activity features Deloitte and Epiphany Systems; other news.

The cybersecurity consulting and managed services industry made waves this week with acquisitions, new ventures and partner initiatives.

Consulting firm Deloitte acquired two cybersecurity companies: TransientX, which focuses on zero-trust network access (ZTNA), and Sentek Global, which provides systems engineering and cybersecurity services to U.S. military customers. The transactions bring Deloitte's tally of cyber-related acquisitions this year to five. Deloitte purchased Root9B, a threat hunting firm, in January 2021 and followed that deal with the purchases of CloudQuest and Terbium Labs.

In addition to the ZTNA technology, Deloitte will gain staff for its IT security roster through the purchase of TransientX, which is based in Hoboken, N.J. Deloitte will incorporate TransientX's technology with its own zero-trust capabilities, according to Deborah Golden, cyber and strategic risk leader and principal for Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory.

"[The acquisition] allows us to differentiate our offerings to the marketplace with much more sophisticated zero trust," Golden said.

Sentek, based in San Diego, boosts Deloitte's cybersecurity foothold in the public sector. The Navy is Sentek's primary customer.

Deloitte will integrate the cybersecurity acquisitions it has made over the past seven months and remains open to pursuing additional deals, Golden said. Customers want a combination of technology and services to address increasingly complicated cyber attacks, she added.

In another technology and services move, Epiphany Systems launched a cybersecurity risk visibility platform and has a channel partner program in the works.

The Epiphany Intelligence Platform ingests data from an organization's systems to reveal risk conditions that attacks can exploit, according to the company. The product also prioritizes risk in a business context.

Amid the Epiphany Intelligence Platform rollout, the New York company has begun building a channel, a move that stems from the platform's origins: Epiphany's technology was funded, developed and tested at Digitalware, a managed security services provider (MSSP).

Epiphany CEO Dan Singer is also the founder of Digitalware, where he carved out Epiphany as a separate entity. The separation of the companies aimed to avoid channel conflict and provide the business its own path as a software venture.

The Epiphany Intelligence Platform's day-to-day use at Digitalware helped pave the way for Epiphany's channel outreach, Singer noted. "We know what other MSSPs are going to want to see," he said.

Steve Struthers, executive vice president of sales at Epiphany, leads the company's channel effort. Partners can expect resale margins on the Epiphany Intelligence Platform of at least 15% and as high as 30%, depending on the size of the deal and level of competition, Struthers said.

Partners also have an opportunity to sell services. Every dollar a customer spends on a product creates three dollars of services opportunity, Struthers said. Those services aren't linked to product deployment, but to partners' ability to build services around the platform. For example, a partner could use the platform to prioritize the risk conditions a customer must address, he noted. Such an assessment could lead to a managed services engagement if the customer hires the partner for remediation services.

Epiphany's soon-to-launch channel program will feature tiers for authorized and named partners. Authorized partners have access to a pool of partner managers, the company's partner portal and marketing resources, as well as the Epiphany sales team to collaborate on joint opportunities. Partners will also receive free online technical training and certification. Named partners, meanwhile, will receive the same benefits as authorized partners in addition to a dedicated partner manager. Other program benefits will include deal registration, joint marketing planning, market development funds and not-for-resale technology for internal use in labs.

Epiphany's certification program will debut later in the third quarter of 2021. A multi-tenant console, which will integrate with MSP/MSSP management platforms, will launch in the fourth quarter, the company said.

Other cybersecurity channel developments this week include:

  • SolCyber, based in Dallas, launched as a midmarket MSSP, with $20 million in financial backing. ForgePoint Capital, a cybersecurity venture fund, led the funding. SolCyber's technology stack includes endpoint detection and response, lateral movement detection, email security, and Active Directory and admin exploitation prevention. Technology partners include Huntress, Cysiv, Area 1 and Right-Hand Cybersecurity.
  • Pax8, a cloud distributor based in Denver, partnered with Isoolate to offer the company's zero-trust web threat protection platform to MSPs.
  • Acronis unveiled a protection pack for its Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud service provider offering. The pack offers data security features such as blockchain-based data notarization and electronic signatures on top of Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud's file sync and share capabilities.
  • High Wire Networks, a systems integrator and MSSP based in Batavia, Ill., added managed endpoint detection and response to its Overwatch Managed Security Services Marketplace. The company offers managed security services to MSPs. 

M&A updates 

  • Atos, a Paris-based IT services company, will acquire Visual BI, a company that focuses on cloud data analytics and business intelligence in the U.S. market. Visual BI, based in Plano, Texas, partners with Snowflake, Microsoft and SAP. The firm also supports platforms from technology partners including Fishtown Analytics, Fivetran, Tableau, HVR Software, Qlik, Theobald Software and Alteryx. The pending deal follows Atos' purchase of Chicago-based Maven Wave in 2020. The Visual BI transaction is expected to close in August.
  • Accenture has agreed to purchase HRC Retail Advisory, a strategy consultancy that focuses on retail. The company's 30 employees will join Accenture's Retail Strategy Group. Accenture views the retail supply chain as ripe for reinvention due to the COVID-19 pandemic and changing consumer buying patterns.
  • Upstack, a web platform that sells cloud services through sales agents, acquired LanYap Networks, a women-owned provider of telecommunications and cloud offerings for mid-sized and large businesses. LanYap's co-founders, Angie Tocco and Laura Dashney, will join Upstack as partners and managing directors. LanYap is based in Phoenix, Ariz.
  • SNP Schneider-Neureither & Partner, a company based in Heidelberg, Germany, that offers SAP managed services and S/4HANA migration software, purchased Datavard AG, a software and consulting company that specializes in SAP. The demand for SAP skills has sparked a series of acquisitions in recent months.

Channel program launches and updates

  • SAP released its updated SAP Partner Finder, which the company said will boost exposure for partners and help customers identify partners by a specific business or industry. SAP announced its Partner Finder upgrade earlier this year at the company's Global Partner Summit.
  • Domino Data Lab, an enterprise machine learning operations (MLOps) platform vendor based in San Francisco, unveiled a partner ecosystem for technology and services companies. The Domino Partner Network spans four categories: Tools & Data; Infrastructure; Solutions; and Implementation & Consulting. Solutions partners include Accenture, while Implementation & Consulting partners include Slalom, Arthur D. Little, DataArt and Corios.
  • HVR, a cloud data replication vendor based in San Francisco, expanded its partner portal and rolled out resell and referral fee programs. The company's partner program covers cloud providers and ISVs as well as global and regional systems integrators.

Other news

  • Veristor Systems, an MSP based in Atlanta, partnered with Network Data Systems, an IT infrastructure services provider. The companies aim to deliver network managed services, including managed unified communications, SD-WAN and wireless.
  • Tata Teleservices, a digital services provider based in New Delhi, partnered with Zoom Video Communications to provide unified communications to small and medium-sized enterprise customers in India.
  • Atera, an IT management software company, obtained a $77 million round of funding led by growth equity firm General Atlantic. Atera offers an MSP platform that spans remote monitoring and management, reporting and operations management.
  • Wipro Ventures will lead an investment round in Functionize, a San Francisco company that offers an AI-based test automation platform for web applications.

Executive appointments

  • NetFortris, an MSP based in Plano, Texas, appointed Raquel Wiley as its vice president of marketing. Wiley's responsibilities include direct and indirect channel marketing programs. Wiley was previously senior channel marketing manager at TPx.
  • Nfinit, a hybrid cloud solution provider based in San Diego, named Ashley Shaw as its vice president of customer success. Shaw was formerly director of client services at T

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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