CRN Exclusive: Arctic Wolf Names New Head Of Sales, Launches First Channel Program

After launching earlier this year, security startup Arctic Wolf Networks is now turning its sights to the channel with the creation of a new partner program and the appointment of a new vice president of sales with a history of growing channel sales.

Founded by former Blue Coat Systems CEO Brian NeSmith, Arctic Wolf sells a Security Operations Center-as-a-Service offering that brings together human intelligence and technology, with SIEM technology and a team of security experts dedicated to each customer to analyze logs and flag problems.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based startup Wednesday said Nick Schneider had joined the company as its first head of worldwide sales. Schneider started with Arctic Wolf in June. Schneider joins the company from Code42, where he was vice president of sales for North America. Prior to that, he held a variety of channel and business leadership roles at Compellent (acquired by Dell in 2011).

[Related: Fortinet Expands Security Fabric With New Technology Partner Program, SIEM Integrations]

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Arctic Wolf also launched its new Apex Partner Program, which features two tiers (referral and resale), as well as deal registration, training, tools, data sheets, co-branding and co-marketing activities, field events and more for partners. Schneider said the program is designed to be simple and straight forward, as well as drive recurring revenue business for partners.

Schneider has helped launch multiple channel programs over his career, he said. That experience has led him to design a simple program that looks to invest in a select group of partners.

’My philosophy on building a channel program is to find the mutual fit between Arctic Wolf and the partners were going after and truly investing in the partnership,’ Schneider said. ’Let’s make sure there’s a mutual fit…and that its good for your customer and your business. That takes longer but you get a lot more out of it.’ He said Arctic Wolf is working to build its sales team in different geographies, with a focus on hiring channel expertise and a goal to move towards a majority indirect go-to-market.

Since its official launch in February, the company has seen ’exponential’ year over year and quarter over quarter sales growth, Schneider said. However, he said the new partner program will help accelerate that growth, as the company is only just starting to ramp its channel business and start active recruitment under this new ’foundational program.’ Schneider said the company’s ten or so channel relationships had been largely ’ad hoc’ to date.

Schneider said Arctic Wolf will be looking to recruit partners selectively, choosing traditional VARs with knowledge of the security space or MSSPs that can fit the SOC-as-a-Service solution into their business model.

’What we’re looking for is a partner that understands our space, that sells to a customer that finds value in our product. We know it’s a good partnership when the end user sees the value for their business and then we see value in both the partner business and to Arctic Wolf. It’s a win-win,’ Schneider said.

One partner the company has already signed on is ASK, a Lansing, Mich.-based managed service provider that is looking to move into high-end security services. President and CEO Michael Maddox said the company started working with Arctic Wolf after evaluating a few other options earlier this year, as it looks to intelligently and intentionally reposition its business around security. Maddox said a high-end security services business is the ’next evolution’ for ASK, which started as a traditional VAR more than 20 years ago and is now looking to reposition itself again to be more reactive to clients’ growing security needs.

’I’m convinced as someone who talks to businesses day in and day out that this kind of technology is going to be critical. For companies in the industry, if you don’t have the ability to offer this and if you rely on the same old reactive managed service programs, eventually the risk level for your clients will increase to the level where we’re overwhelmed. We’re trying to staying ahead of this,’ Maddox said.

Maddox said the Arctic Wolf solution has so far been ’incredibly well-received’ by ASK’s customers. He said he chose Arctic Wolf as a partner because of the company’s ’balance between technology and people’ in its SOC-as-a-Service offering, as well as its midmarket-friendly price point.

Maddox said he expected the new partner program to be a good move for both Arctic Wolf and his business. He said he particularly liked that Arctic Wolf was choosing to be selective with the partners it chooses, so other partners won’t intrude on his business.

’I’m excited by the fact that they are committed to the channel…I’ve seen channel done well and channel done poorly and to me it’s done well when the OEM is committed to the channel,’ Maddox said.