Security in public cloud settings: Palo Alto courts partners

Palo Alto Networks' partners can expect to see the company reach out to cloud-focused channel companies and a new public cloud specialization; other news from the week.

Palo Alto Networks is expanding its outreach to cloud partners and plans to create a specialization for partners focusing on security in public cloud environments.

The security vendor, based in Santa Clara, Calif., offers its VM-Series virtualized firewall product for public cloud security. VM-Series supports Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and VMware vCloud Air, according to the company. Its product lineup also includes a cloud access security broker, a technology field in which partners see potential.

Lang Tibbils, head of global partner experience at Palo Alto Networks, said working with partners to provide security in public cloud settings is a major focus for the company. "As a result, we have broadened our partner ecosystem to include cloud providers, as well as born-in-the-cloud partners," he said.

The company is rolling out a public cloud specialization, which will follow a trajectory similar to its Traps Specialization. Palo Alto Networks in April 2016 launched its Traps Specialization for partners working with the company's endpoint security product. In July 2016, the company said 35 Palo Alto Networks partners had become specialized in Traps. The Traps Specialization now has more than 130 partners, according to Tibbils.

"Just like our Traps Specialization ... our public cloud specialization will begin as a pilot, focusing on a specific region, and will include a nomination process," Tibbils explained.

We have broadened our partner ecosystem to include cloud providers, as well as born-in-the-cloud partners.
Lang Tibbilshead of global partner experience at Palo Alto Networks

He said partners in North America can contact Palo Alto Networks' NextWave Channel Partner Program or their channel business manager for more information on the nomination process.

Meanwhile, cloud-oriented Palo Alto Networks partners are already working with the cybersecurity company. For example, 2nd Watch, a managed cloud provider based in Seattle and a Palo Alto Networks partner, recently launched a cloud security offering that will run on Amazon Web Services and use the VM-Series firewall.

Jeff Aden, executive vice president for strategic business development and marketing at 2nd Watch, said customers want to use Palo Alto Networks' products in the cloud to protect the mission-critical enterprise applications they have migrated.

DXC buys one business, exits another

IT services company DXC Technology, based in Tysons, Va., made two significant moves this week.

As a buyer, DXC signed a deal to acquire Logicalis SMC, a solution provider based in the Netherlands that targets the service management market. According to DXC, Logicalis SMC will expand DXC's Fruition Partners business, which provides ServiceNow expertise with bolstered skills, reach and European presence.

As a seller, DXC plans to spin off its U.S. public-sector operation, which will be combined with two other government contractors to create an independent publicly traded company. The two companies, Vencore Holding Corp. and KeyPoint Government Solutions, are currently under the ownership of private equity firm Veritas Capital, which will become an investor in the new company.

The new $4.3 billion company is expected to launch by the end of March 2018, subject to regulatory and other approvals, according to DXC Technology. Technology Business Research Inc., a market analyst firm in Hampton, N.H., said the consolidation will create a pure-play services vendor that "stacks up against the tier-one government services providers" in terms of revenue.

DXC Technology, itself, came together via merger. The company launched in April 2017, combining CSC with the enterprise services business of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

FireMon revises Ignite Partner Program

Security intelligence vendor FireMon has updated its Ignite Partner Program to reflect a shift in its global channel strategy.

The revamped program includes a new mobile-friendly partner portal, which offers sales tools, deal registration and marketing campaigns. Additionally, FireMon has made e-learning a top priority and introduced two self-paced online technical and sales courses. The goal is to make training easier for partners.

"I think about time management from a reseller's perspective. [Resellers are being] hit from so many different vendors, all requesting that they dedicate time to learning their technologies," said Kurt Mills, vice president of worldwide sales and operations at FireMon, based in Overland Park, Kan.

Mills, who has an extensive background working for security vendors, said FireMon had "a velocity-type channel model" when he joined the company about a year ago. FireMon was "working with a lot of different partners" and "not giving anyone any pure attention individually."

Mills and his team sought to transition FireMon to a value-based model by creating more rigorous requirements for partners to achieve, he said. As a result of this shift, FireMon has since cut down its channel community to about 250 partners worldwide. "We have provided compliance and enforcement to [the Ignite Partner Program] so that the right partners receive the right rewards for execution," he noted.

At the same time, FireMon varied its expectations for partners depending on the geographical markets in which they work. "We needed to take a step back and look at the world, as you have emerging, developed and mature markets," Mills said. "When you look at our program requirements and structure now, the requirements ... are different and for different partner levels based on the market [they are] in."

To boost support for overseas partners, FireMon recently expanded its global field resources, naming James Frost as its new EMEA channel director and Arthur Woo as channel manager for the Asia-Pacific region.

FireMon's products may be used to support initiatives such as security in public cloud and private cloud environments, General Data Protection Regulation compliance, and intelligent policy automation, according to the company.

Other news

  • Channel partners working with ForeScout Technologies Inc., an internet-of-things (IoT) security company, and CrowdStrike, a cloud-based endpoint security vendor, will have a unified offering to sell to their customers. Under a new alliance, ForeScout and CrowdStrike said they will "deliver comprehensive visibility, threat detection and security response for joint customers." Matthew Polly, CrowdStrike's vice president of worldwide business development and channels, said the companies' mutual channel partners can now provide clients a combined offering that extends protection "across the spectrum of managed and unmanaged devices, endpoints like laptops and servers, and IoT devices."
  • Security provider WhiteHat Security unveiled a channel program for its cloud-based application security platform. The WhiteHat Security Partner Network offers sales-enablement material, deal registration and other tools via a new partner portal, and it will focus on North American and EMEA markets, according to WhiteHat.
  • More than 51% of the organizations that have deployed Microsoft Office 365 said they used a VAR or managed service provider (MSP) to manage the adoption, migration and operation of their deployments. That data point comes from a Barracuda Networks Inc. global customer survey focusing on Office 365 adoption. The survey also showed more than 60% of the organizations planning to migrate to Office 365 said they planned to use a VAR or MSP.
  • Data management vendor Informatica said it will provide Azure-based offerings to Microsoft's community of global systems integrators. Microsoft GSIs can access Informatica's Solution Advantage Partner Program for support creating and commercializing offerings.
  • Information Systems Integration LLC (ISI) has joined Balbix Inc.'s channel program as a managed security services provider partner. Balbix offers an artificial-intelligence-based predictive breach-risk platform, while ISI provides security and risk management.
  • Virtual Instruments, an application-centric infrastructure performance management vendor, has expanded its sales channel into Australia, signing PlexNet as a value-added reseller and professional services partner.
  • Insight launched a device-as-a-service offering. Insight Managed Office bundles devices, cloud applications and services under one monthly subscription, according to the company.
  • KPMG LLP has inked an alliance with Blue Prism, a robotic process automation software vendor. The arrangement will focus on compliance reporting and customer support, among other business processes. Blue Prism, meanwhile, said it will unveil its Operating System for the Digital Workforce on Microsoft Azure.
  • ConnectWise has appointed former Tech Data executive Steven Raymund to its board of directors. Raymund retired as the distributor's chairman in June 2017. ConnectWise also appointed Stanley Levy, a former Grant Thornton partner, to its board. Levy will chair the board's audit committee.
  • OS33 has rolled out a channel program that the company said lets MSPs sell and deliver its workplace_ offering to companies in highly regulated industries, such as financial services and healthcare.
  • AppRiver, a company that offers cloud-based cybersecurity and productivity services, said it has upgraded its appMailer proprietary email marketing platform. New features for the tool, which lets channel partners manage and co-brand email campaigns, include a lead generation module.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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