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Malwarebytes Snags AlienVault's Mike LaPeters To Globalize Channel

Malwarebytes has tasked former AlienVault channel chief Mike LaPeters with bringing more globalization, automation and programming to the company's solution provider community.

Malwarebytes has hired former AlienVault channel chief Mike LaPeters to unite the company's different regions and different types of channel partners under a single umbrella.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based cybersecurity vendor has tasked LaPeters with bringing more globalization, automation and programming to the company's solution provider community. LaPeters started July 29 as Malwarebytes' vice president of worldwide MSP and channel operations after nearly four years as AlienVault's global channel chief, during which time the company was acquired by AT&T.

"Malwarebytes has done a great job building passion in the community, and now it's time to start giving them process," LaPeters told CRN.

[Related: C-Suite Spotlight: Malwarebytes Marcin Kleczynski On Creating A Malware-Free Society]

Malwarebytes has approached its channel very regionally over the company's 11-year history, LaPeters said, which has sometimes resulted in quality created by a regional director getting stuck in the region rather than being utilized across the entire organization. A regional approach to channels has also forced Malwarebytes' 50-100 largest MSPs and DMRs to live inside multiple partner programs, LaPeters said.

The company's partner program is very successful in each region, and LaPeters said globalizing the program with between 80 percent and 90 percent consistency across each market will lead to more effective engagement with global vendors and solution providers. Malwarebytes plans to retain some specialties in each of its regions, LaPeters said.

LaPeters plans to capitalize on engagement at events and a partner advisory council over the next 90 days to identify gaps that exist in the current partner program. He hopes to roll out a more globalized channel strategy in the 2020 calendar year.

The biggest opportunity for growth in the channel will come from tightening the relationship between the inside sales team that helps support partner inquiries and the solution provider community itself, LaPeters said. LaPeters would like to formalize some of Malwarebytes' go-to-market activities around MDF and custom campaigns so that they're occurring on a systematic rather than an ad-hoc basis.

LaPeters said he'd like to come up with a program that covers demand gen, incentives, and campaign-based marketing activities. Malwarebytes has been very successful in working with DMRs and national resellers like SHI, insight, CDW and Optiv, LaPeters said, and wants to invest heavily in the managed security space going forward to take advantage of the enormous market opportunity there.

Getting traction in the MSP market requires that companies solve the billing challenges associated with allowing partners to purchase on a monthly basis and offer services on a recurring basis, LaPeters said. Malwarebytes' release of the OneView product in March has resulted in an enormous uptick in engagement with MSPs thanks to its capabilities around multi-tenancy, LaPeters said.

The new Malwarebytes partner program will make different benefits, requirements, and rewards available to different types of channel partners, LaPeters said. Solution providers will not be required to choose a single go-to-market model, LaPeters said, and will instead be allowed to participate in multiple tracks.

LaPeters also plans to bring more of a process to how Malwarebytes generates content and makes it available in the Malwarebytes partner portal. He hopes to put more logical systems in place to support everything from partner onboarding to certifications to ongoing support and service.

All told, LaPeters said he hopes to create an ecosystem that provides partners with the flexibility to engage in a human fashion where appropriate and also be able to procure licenses with just the click of a button.

"We have a unique opportunity here," LaPeters said.

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