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Check Point Snags Cylance Exec To Lead Americas Channels: Exclusive

Former Cylance business development leader Abigail Maines will be tasked with helping Check Point develop a new channel program and assisting partners with breaking into new customer accounts in the Americas.

Check Point Software Technologies has tapped former Cylance leader Abigail Maines to help the company drive advanced technology adoption and break into new accounts in the Americas.

The San Carlos, Calif.-based security vendor said Maines will be tasked with helping Check Point develop a new channel program and making the company more central to the strategy of its vendor partners, said Head of Worldwide Channel Sales Frank Rauch. Maines will start Sept. 9 as head of the Americas channel sales organization following nearly four years as Cylance's VP of business development.

"She is the perfect combination of intellect, execution, pragmatic outlook, and leadership," Rauch told CRN exclusively. "We need to win in the Americas. It's a key battleground."

[Related: Check Point CEO Shwed On Hiring Frank Rauch, Why Mobile Security Is Overlooked, And The 'Need To Do Much, Much Better' With The Channel]

Maines will be the first Check Point channel chief to have the United States, Canada, and Latin America under their purview, Rauch said. Each country or region previously had a separate channel leader, but Rauch said having someone who's familiar with both mature and emerging markets in the Americas will make it easier to serve partners and customers that operate throughout the entire region.

Check Point partners are selling security to maybe a third of their install base today, and Rauch hopes that Maines will be able to tap into her business development and marketing background to develop tighter relationships with CMOs and other solution provider C-suite executives.

Rauch expects Maines to up level Check Point's strategy and relationship in the America with both legacy security partners as well as legacy data center solution providers that have a security practice, Rauch said. Maines' executive presence should help Check Point establish, maintain, and sustain more relationships at the CEO level, according to Rauch.

Rauch said he plans to introduce Maines to his C-level channel network in the Americas to help extend those relationships and that brand to her.

Putting together more campaigns for partners and leveraging the channel during Check Point's cloud security roadshow should also help the company unlock more of its partners' install base and create a joint agenda between Check Point and its channel community, Rauch said.

"We need to project our brand through the channel," Rauch said.

Maines' expertise will also be "invaluable" to Rauch as the company reassesses all the components of its partner program from certifications, tiering and enablement to financial incentives, deal registration, and channel co-op.

Check Point currently has a 20-person team across the Americas, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia-Pacific) working on the channel program revamp and meeting weekly with CFO and COO Tal Payne, Rauch said. Maines will become an integral part of that team as Check Point prepares to launch partner program in early 2020, according to Rauch.

Maines' arrival should coincide nicely with Check Point's efforts to have more meaningful discussions and become more central to the strategy of non-security technology firms like VMware, Rauch said.

Check Point doesn't expect to recruit lots of new partners in the Americas, Rauch said, but would like to boost the share of partner business coming from net new accounts. Maines is also expected to help channel partners increase the mix of bookings coming from advanced technologies like cloud security, mobile security, and branch office security, according to Rauch.

For her part, Maines said she wants to make it easier for partners to work with Check Point by giving them a better sense of what to expect and visibility into what the company is attempting to do. Maines said her experience executing in the highly competitive endpoint security space at Cylance has made her laser-focused on execution, a quality she said should serve Check Point's partner community well.

Maines said her deep marketing and direct sales experience makes her more empathetic to what partners have to go through and ensures that channel responsibilities are put in an appropriate context. She hopes to take advantage of the new and longstanding talent on Check Point's "very strong" Americas channel team to shoot for double-digit growth in the region.

"I'm very focused on building relationships based on honesty, transparency and results," Maines said. "We have nothing but wild success ahead of us."

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