Security Vendor eSentire Lands Ex-HPE Channel Chief Kerry Bailey As CEO In Push To $1B Sales Mark


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New eSentire CEO Kerry Bailey wants to double the share of business his company is doing through the channel and establish tight bonds with 25 service-oriented "super VARs."

The former Hewlett Packard Enterprise global channel chief is hoping to drive the fast-growing managed detection and response vendor's revenues to the $1 billion mark in three to four years. Part of that expansion might come from acquisitions that boost eSentire's technical capabilities or bring the company into new geographies, Bailey said.

"We're doing security the new way," Bailey told CRN. "It's not strapped to legacy technology. It's not strapped to traditional IT."

[Related: HPE Internal Memo: GE Digital Channel Exec Samuels To Lead Worldwide Indirect Sales Organization]

Just 28 percent of eSentire's business went through partners in the second half of 2017. Central to eSentire's channel push will be focusing the company on "super VARs," which Bailey defines as solution providers with capabilities around security, at least $50 million in sales, and more than half of their revenue coming from services. 

"Super VARs" make up a very small percentage of eSentire's channel community today, but Bailey hopes to have 25 of them around the world in short order. "Super VARs" will be a vital part of eSentire's channel strategy since they understand the cloud journey and have the trust of their customers to move them toward a hybrid environment. 

eSentire's managed detection and response (MDR) capabilities will be critical as "super VARs" take their customers on a cloud journey since MDR can be wrapped around a workload regardless of where it resides, Bailey said.

"Once the workload is in motion, all traditional ways of security don't work anymore," Bailey said. "We're going to bet big on the super VARs."

eSentire also wants to grow its base of MSSP partners, which Bailey said number around a dozen today. Bailey said its capabilities can complement MSSPs focused on device and network management that are looking for a hand against known threats.

Vertically-focused partners have also been very successful at bringing eSentire into industries from legal to hedge funds, which thus far have been the company's predominant source of customers. Finally, Bailey said eSentire has a number of security-focused local and regional partners that might work in tandem with the vendor to deploy MDR for a school system or municipality.

Bailey said eSentire is looking to expand its international sales from 25 percent of the overall business to 50 percent within the next three to four years. eSentire will spend most of this year building up its foreign teams with the goal of making big moves late this year or into 2019, according to Bailey.

In the interim, Bailey said eSentire might acquire companies to obtain additional IP that helps the vendor address GDPR or other data privacy issues. Bailey said eSentire wants to get to the point where it can collect, ingest, and do analytics on a customer's data while still keeping the information private within a particular geographic region or even the customer's own ecosystem.

eSentire already has the IP in place to do deep threat hunting, Bailey said, obtaining insights and finding anomalies in network hunting streams. The company therefore plans to focus on technical acquisitions on bringing in broader source of data so that the company can use its existing engine to correlate data and obtain more insights, according to Bailey.

eSentire has a good brand reputation and currently excels at client engagement, said one partner that doesn't wish to be identified. The company could make itself even stickier with the channel by building out its monitoring capabilities to size and scale and increasing its effectiveness around using analytics data to identify potential threats.

The partner has been working with eSentire for less than a year, focusing primarily around its managed services practice. "So far, we've been pleased," the partner said.  

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