Security News

Bill Robbins On Why Sophos Offers Unmatched MDR For Partners

Kyle Alspach

Robbins, the recently appointed president of worldwide field operations at Sophos, told CRN that while some MDR (managed detection and response) vendors are ‘not as committed’ to the segment, ‘we’re going to be there’ for partners.

Channel-First MDR

In the hotly competitive market for MDR (managed detection and response) services, Sophos has landed more than 16,000 customers and is now seeking to attract more of its hundreds of thousands of customers to its offering. Now, Bill Robbins, a Mandiant veteran who joined Sophos in April, is at the helm of the effort as the head of global sales for the cybersecurity vendor. Robbins, whose title is president of worldwide field operations, joined Sophos shortly before Mike Valentine, Sophos’ longtime chief revenue officer and a “channel legend” according to solution providers, departed the company.

If anything, though, Robbins said he’s only looking to intensify the company’s focus on channel partners. For instance, Sophos is aiming to “turbocharge” its channel organization through boosting its investments in areas such as partner enablement and lead-passing to partners, he said in an interview with CRN.

[Related: Sophos CEO Kris Hagerman: We’re Winning On MDR And Now Driving The ‘Next Phase’ Of Security As A Service]

One of the big goals, according to Robbins, is to accelerate the partner-led growth in areas of Sophos’ business that have been taking hold with customers. First and foremost, that means MDR, which involves providing 24/7 monitoring for threats and responding to incidents that are detected. In MDR, Sophos stands out with its ability to deliver the services even to customers on the smaller side, Robbins told CRN. “We’re able to bring a level of sophistication that is substantially greater than many of our competitors that are focused in this market space [which] tend to be focused quite a bit up-market,” he said.

When you combine that capability with Sophos’ focus on partners — and its commitment to the MDR space overall — “I don’t believe there’s another cybersecurity company out there that can do [that] for the market segment that we’re focused on,” Robbins said.

What follows is an edited portion of CRN’s interview with Robbins.

Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach is a Senior Editor at CRN focused on cybersecurity. His coverage spans news, analysis and deep dives on the cybersecurity industry, with a focus on fast-growing segments such as cloud security, application security and identity security.  He can be reached at

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