CRN's Security Roundtable


Solution providers looking for a cybersecurity vendor to work with find themselves choosing between a number of high-growth companies in a market that’s seen some consolidation in recent years yet remains highly fragmented. Many of the traditional industry players have in recent years expanded their footprint well beyond firewalls and anti-virus software and adopted a platform approach that aims to address many of the customer’s protection requirements in a single location.

At a recent roundtable discussion hosted by CRN at the XChange March 2020 conference in San Antonio, executives from Bitdefender, Check Point Software Technologies, Fortinet, McAfee and Palo Alto Networks talked about the challenges and opportunities around working with public cloud providers, how services can be used to differentiate a security partner’s business, what MSPs must do to better secure their own practices, and the role private equity has played in the cybersecurity industry.

The participating executives included: Jon Bove, Fortinet’s vice president of channel sales; Ken McCray, McAfee’s head of Americas channel sales and operations; Frank Rauch, Check Point’s head of worldwide channel sales; Karl Soderlund, Palo Alto Networks’ senior vice president of worldwide channel sales; and Joe Sykora, Bitdefender’s vice president of global sales and channels.

The Discussions:

What Kind Of Solution Provider Would You Start?

The cybersecurity industry’s top channel minds said they’d focus on protecting new technologies like IoT, DevSecOps, Kubernetes and 5G if starting a solution provider business of their own today.

6 Big Challenges Security Partners Face When Migrating To The Cloud

From adjusting to new vendor expectations and financial models to avoiding a complacent “good enough” attitude, here are six critical issues solution providers face when building out a cloud security business.

How Has Private Equity Shaped The Channel?

‘It’s giving them capital to do things that they haven’t been able to do in the past, investments they haven’t been able to make in the past,’ says Karl Soderlund, Palo Alto Networks’ SVP of worldwide channel sales.

How Can MSPs Better Protect Themselves?

‘I would encourage them to ensure that they’re drinking their own Kool-Aid. If you’re out there and telling the market that you’ve got a platform approach as a managed provider, you need to start at home,’ says Fortinet’s Jon Bove.

What Services Do Partners Need To Adopt?

‘That services opportunity is not a nice to have, it’s a need to have for our partner community. If they truly want to be differentiated, they have to have professional services, staffing, pre-sales consulting, and the entire suite,’ said Palo Alto Networks’ Karl Soderlund.

Do Public Cloud Providers Get The Channel?

‘You’re dealing with behemoths out there. You’re dealing with very, very large companies. If you think you’re going to go in there ... and kind of change the way they do things, it’s not going to happen,’ says Check Point’s Frank Rauch.

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