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Lacework Snags Splunk‘s Brian Lanigan As Global Channel Chief

‘When you‘re in a hypergrowth state, you’re getting a lot of partners incoming, and it’s not necessarily your mission to go sign up a lot more partners ... You want to invest in the partners that are going to invest with you,’ says Brian Lanigan.

Lacework has brought on longtime Splunk partner leader Brian Lanigan as its first-ever global channel chief to grow the company’s MSSP ecosystem and expand internationally.

The San Jose, Calif.-based cloud security vendor has tasked Lanigan with embedding Lacework’s technology in an offering that MSSPs can take to market at scale to deliver business outcomes. Lanigan started March 14 as Lacework’s vice president of worldwide channel and alliances following nearly nine years at Splunk, where he was responsible for the global system integrator and MSP routes to market.

“They truly believe in the mission that partners can be a force multiplier for the company,” Lanigan told CRN exclusively about Lacework’s top leadership. “So as we scale and build out that robust partner ecosystem, it’s paramount to profitable growth.”

[Related: Lacework Unveils Tiered Partner Program To Aid Channel Sales]

Lacework’s technology is optimized for the MSSP ecosystem since organizations are looking for tools that will protect their employees’ devices and data beyond the network perimeter, according to Lanigan. He intends to bring additional benefits to bear for MSSPs such as getting visibility and a voice into Lacework’s product roadmap so that it can be better aligns with how these partners go to market.

The company also needs to design its customer success, enablement, and support functions with MSSPs in mind, knowing that MSSPs will likely embed Lacework’s technology into a broader services bundle and take it out to customers at scale, Lanigan said. Lacework had already been thinking about this prior to Lanigan’s arrival, and the company is now looking to codify and operationalize its MSSP sales motion.

Both the MSSP and SI go-to-market models are focused on delivering business outcomes to customers, and Lanigan said giving them the product roadmap, access to key technologies, and robust customer support and customer success teams are key to their success. Lanigan is pleased Lacework’s new partner program was designed with flexibility in mind so partners can embed the technology into their services.

As a cloud security and observability platform, Lanigan said many of Lacework’s target customers are trying to figure out how to accelerate their move to the cloud but lack the skillsets internally to do so. As a result, Lanigan said Lacework’s clients are well-suited to lean on MSSPs to deliver those capabilities. Lacework already has some of the biggest names on its roster of MSSP partners, according to Lanigan.

“When you‘re in a hypergrowth state, you’re getting a lot of partners incoming, and it‘s not necessarily your mission to go sign up a lot more partners,” Lanigan said. “That’s not necessarily what you want of a partner organization and a partner program. You want to invest in the partners that are going to invest with you.”

Lacework already has a strong group of mature partners in the United States and Canada and pushed into Europe last year and Asia-Pacific in recent months, Lanigan said. The company wants to redouble its efforts with key partners in the America, add partners in key European markets to drive more business, and put a partner strategy in place for Asia-Pacific in 2022 will the idea of executing the strategy in 2023.

Roughly 60 percent of Lacework’s business opportunities were aligned with channel partners in the third quarter of last year, and Lanigan said there’s a company from the very top to double down on partners. Lanigan plans to track how much revenue is transacted, sourced, and influenced by channel partners, as well as technical certifications in the partner ecosystem and integrations with other SaaS providers.

“They [Lacework’s leadership] are absolutely fundamentally committed to the idea that partners are the way to grow a company profitably,” Lanigan said. “It is so exciting to be part of the rocket ship that is Lacework.”

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