SecurityScorecard Taps Palo Alto Networks Vet For Global Channel Growth

The security ratings startup has identified the right partners in Western Europe, Singapore and Japan and is building out a sales organization to take advantage of the opportunity, says new channel chief Michael Sweeney.

SecurityScorecard has turned to longtime Palo Alto Networks go-to-market leader Michael Sweeney to boost partner enablement and expand the company's geographic footprint beyond North America.

The New York-based security ratings startup would like to get sales from being based predominantly in the U.S. to a 60-40 split between the U.S. and the rest of the world, Sweeney told CRN. The company has identified the right partners in Western Europe and is building out a sales organization there to take advantage of the increased focus on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations and compliance, he said.

SecurityScorecard also has sales teams in Singapore, Japan and other parts of Asia identifying and engaging with high-quality channel partners to drive scale throughout the region, Sweeney said. Changes in the regulatory environment around the world have shined a spotlight on tools like SecurityScorecard that can help businesses improve their cybersecurity posture, according to Sweeney.

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[Related: CRN Exclusive: SecurityScorecard Launches Inaugural Partner Program]

"I'm super excited to be here at SecurityScorecard," Sweeney said. "Partners have a great opportunity here."

Sweeney started July 15 as SecurityScorecard's vice president of worldwide alliances and channels following six and a half years at Palo Alto Networks, where he created the go-to-market strategy for global accounts and significantly grew the company's business with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. Prior to joining Palo Alto Networks, Sweeney held leadership positions at NetApp, EMC and Citigroup.

Since starting at SecurityScorecard, Sweeney has tapped Nicole Stavroff to reassess the company's current channel program, figure out how the company can better enable solution providers, and align SecurityScorecard's sales team with the partner community to work more productively.

Specifically, Sweeney said he wants to integrate channel partners into SecurityScorecard's "pod" approach to selling, which already includes sales reps, sales engineers and cross-functional resources. Making solution providers part of the company's internal sales structure will help SecurityScorecard scale and bring greater perspective to the company's joint market and customers, Sweeney said.

Partners can also bring a broader offering to customers that the company is capable of doing on its own, Sweeney said. Even though SecurityScorecard only sells through the channel, Sweeney said there's still an opportunity to include partners in all sales activities and embrace them more tightly in the company's go-to-market approach.

"When you really commit to the channel, they commit to you," Sweeney said. "You get what you give."

Sweeney plans to focus most heavily on metrics like partner revenue, proofs of concepts signed, and the conversion of proofs of concept into measurable sales activity. Further enablement of channel partners is also expected to result in more of SecurityScorecard's business being deal-registered and partner-led, according to Sweeney.

SecurityScorecard was founded in 2013 and employs 204 people, up 34 percent from 152 employees a year earlier, according to LinkedIn. The company has raised $112.2 million in five rounds of outside funding, capped off by a $50 million Series D round in June led by technology investment firm Riverwood Capital.