CRN Exclusive: Palo Alto Networks Sees 'Phenomenal' Growth For Traps Partner Specialization

Palo Alto Networks is seeing "phenomenal" growth for its endpoint security partner specialization, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Channels Ron Myers said in a blog post Friday.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it has signed up 35 partners for its NextWave Traps Specialization, which was announced in April. The specialization has an additional set of booking and certification requirements and partners who achieve the specialization will be rewarded with a bigger discount, a differentiated go-to-market designation, and more sales leads from internal sales teams.

In the Americas, Palo Alto Networks recognized AmeriNet, CompuNet, Digital Scepter, Integrated Archive Systems, Net Source, Norlem, Presidio, Red Sky Solutions and Trace 3 as NextWave Traps Specialized partners.

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Justin Tibbs, CSO at Draper, Utah-based Red Sky Solutions, said he has been involved with the Traps software since Palo Alto Networks acquired the technology as part of its acquisition of Cyvera in March 2014. The technology is a now a "big part of our business," he said.

Tibbs said the new specialization, which Red Sky Solutions has been certified on, helps focus the company's engineers and "reassure customers that we've spent some time with the technology."

"We're really proficient with the technology and this helps us lead the pack," Tibbs said.

Palo Alto Networks is "definitely seeing continued strong adoption of the Traps" as well as larger deployment deals, CEO Mark McLaughlin said on the company's most recent earnings call in May.

"We think we’ve got the right technology to solve a very important problem and that problem is growing in awareness and attention for customers," McLaughlin said on the call, speaking about the company's Traps technology.

Tibbs said he is seeing that same shift in his own business. He said customers initially were hesitant, but now the growth in interest from customers is "exponential." That shift is driven by increasing comfort with the Traps solution, as well as a growing recognition of the need for next-generation endpoint security solutions as part of a strong security strategy.

"I think Palo Alto Networks is taking the endpoint really seriously…I think customers now are seeing Palo Alto Networks is very serious about the endpoint product and that's what's generating a lot of the buzz," Tibbs said.

However, Palo Alto Networks said in the blog post that the company is "far from done" when it comes to building a focus around endpoint security. That includes recruiting more NextWave Traps Specialized partners, the company said.

"The legacy antivirus endpoint market is at a key inflection point, representing a massive transition opportunity. Together with you, our partners, we are changing the endpoint market and as a result have the opportunity to migrate the endpoint install base to threat prevention," Myers said in the blog post.

"The simple fact is, antivirus can no longer protect customers from today's advanced attacks, resulting in a massive growth opportunity," he said.