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Infosec Growing Partner Community Through Cybersecurity Education

C.J. Fairfield

‘For the first time we have an official channel go-to-market strategy,’ says Donna Turgeon, head of channel sales in North America for Madison, Wis.-based cybersecurity education and training vendor InfoSec. ‘We’ve done business with MSPs and resellers in the past but we’ve never really had a formalized organization to support their needs, not just for yesterday but more so for going forward.’

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After providing cybersecurity awareness and training for decades, Infosec is now tapping deeper into the channel to provide better business outcomes for the partner community.

“For the first time we have an official channel go-to-market strategy,” Donna Turgeon, head of channel sales in North America for Madison, Wis.-based cybersecurity education and training vendor Infosec, told CRN. “We’ve done business with MSPs and resellers in the past but we’ve never really had a formalized organization to support their needs, not just for yesterday but more so for going forward.”

Turgeon’s goal is to help shrink the cybersecurity void globally and called Infosec a “self-contained” channel group in that it has a pointed focus “on the growth of MSPs, the growth of the resellers to augment our overall growth at Infosec.”

She said Infosec was interested in capitalizing on the growth of the channel, and after joining the company in the spring to lead the North America business, drove the channel organization and built out a team to help support MSPs.

“Now we have dedicated individuals from a sales standpoint, client success, implementation, marketing, analytics and program management,” she said. “Infosec is a channel organization and we are building our organization to be channel friendly.”

[Related: Ransomware Gang Posts Data Online Stolen From Cisco]

To be more channel-friendly, Infosec has created partner agreements, partner pricing and a partner portal to “collectively make an organization that the MSPs can trust, so we can help to manage their business.”

Turgeon said those leading the partner efforts at Infosec “understand the wants and needs” of those in the channel and have mapped out a customer journey.

“[Partners] want a focus vendor that they can rely on,” she said. “Someone who‘s going to follow up with them not only for their new business and walk them through the process and get it executed but someone that’s going to help them retain and renew their business as well help them strategize on how to grow their business. At the end of the day it’s to help them execute the business for their end users.”

Infosec, which was acquired earlier this year for $191 million by Boston-based education technology company Cengage Group, will provide partners with a complete portfolio for cybersecurity and a “dedicated vendor to work with.”

“Cybersecurity is a hot space,” she said. “Security awareness training oftentimes is a gap in their cybersecurity portfolio. Sometimes the protection of the individuals and training their employees or their businesses on phishing attacks and that kind of thing is just a gap in their portfolio.”

The biggest MSP challenge Infosec is hearing from partners is retaining talent, Turgeon said. Infosec plans to help with that in educating MSPs on cybersecurity and getting them certified to offer better support for their end users.

“For us to be able to serve channel partners and for them to be able to leverage our products and services is really an honor,” she said.

Nick Just, vice president of commercial strategic development for O’Fallon, Ill.-based MSP TechGuard Security, said Infosec’s security awareness solutions “made a world of difference across the board.”

“The biggest thing we look for is someone you want to continue to partner with,” Just said in an email. “In the channel ecosystem relationships are key and from day one Infosec has been nothing but great to work with. Not only their support team but the weekly meetings to catch up to see how things are going and to talk through opportunities…the communication has always been very good. They want to see us succeed so that they can succeed as well, so it’s a well-rounded partnership where we’re all winning together.”

C.J. Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at cfairfield@thechannelcompany.com.

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