New Sophos Channel Leaders: We're Headed Full Force Into The Cloud

Sophos' new channel leadership is charging full-steam ahead with a strategy to focus on driving partner growth in cloud security and managed services.

Kendra Krause, who was promoted several weeks ago to vice president of global channel sales, and new Vice President of North American Channel Sales Erin Malone are both ratcheting up the company's product and go-to-market strategy around cloud and managed services.

"The type of partners and the way that they're going to do business is evolving. It's moving to be an MSP and it's moving to a cloud model," Krause said. "Our products support it, our roadmap supports it and we'll be developing programs this year that continue to support it as well."

[Related: Sources: Sophos To Acquire Email Security Player Reflexion Networks]

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The new channel leadership appears to be already putting its money where its mouth is, according to sources, who say the company is in the final stages of talks to acquire Reflexion Networks, a well-respected cloud email security, disaster recovery and encryption company. Sophos is expected to announce the acquisition as early as this week, but the company declined to comment as it does not comment on "rumor and speculation."

As part of the stepped-up cloud offensive, Krause said, the company is launching a new partner portal, training program and tools. The program is in beta right now with the company's advisory council and will be live within the next month or so.

"We have a good program there, but that always continues to evolve as we release new products, especially as we have acquisitions and integrating those technologies and those products into our existing technologies and have new releases," Krause said. "That will consistently evolve to make sure we have the latest and greatest for our partners when it comes to training materials and resources."

Krause and Malone both said Sophos is encouraging its partners to cross-sell both its end-point and network security portfolio to build a complete security solution. The company will soon launch a promotion to reward partners who are cross-selling with the vendor for the first time, Krause said.

"I'm really pushing hard to enable all of our partners to sell across our entire portfolio," Malone said. "That's a key area for us ... but it really comes down to we want to be the simplest to do business with, we want to be the most profitable company that they work with and what they can expect from us is just complete channel excellence across everyone in the organization."

Sophos partners cheered the strategic direction of the new channel team, particularly around the company's anticipated Reflexion acquisition.

Sean Stenovich, partner and owner of Farmers Branch, Texas-based M&S Technologies, said he has seen the company become more "self-aware" about its strategy with partners. In particular, the company's portfolio expansion to include a wider variety of security technologies, particularly around the cloud, gives the company "good momentum" with partners, he said.

"[Sophos has] very focused direction in rounding out their security portfolio. It's definitely a company that will always be one of our top five partners," Stenovich said.