Tech Data Finds Traction With Partners For Digital Security Practice Builder

One solution provider says the program has connected her with new security vendors and has ‘definitely filled a huge gap for us.’


IT distributor Tech Data is finding strong momentum with solution providers around the online version of its Security Practice Builder, which debuted in February just before the COVID-19 pandemic shifted much of the business world to digital.

Previously only available as an in-person training, the digital version of the Security Practice Builder includes more than 40 hours of digital content, including on-demand videos, and is free of charge to Tech Data partners.

[Related: 10 Questions With Tech Data Security Guru Alex Ryals On Security Trends And Training In Isolation]

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“It teaches you how to not only build a security practice, but more importantly, how to build a security managed service practice,” said Alex Ryals (pictured), vice president of security solutions at Tech Data. “We have about 15 hours of content on how to build and bundle security solutions, how to price them, how to hire and train your teams to deliver on those.”

Prior to launching as a digital version, the Security Practice Builder was a “very high-touch model” and had a cap on the number of partners that could take part, Ryals said. “We got up to around 40 partners that we did the high-touch program with and we decided, in order to scale this--because we’ve got thousands of partners--we wanted to build a digital, on-demand, self-service platform.”

Launching the digital version in February, just before the COVID-19 crisis led to widespread remote work, ended up being crucial—and the program has seen strong demand from solution providers, Ryals said. The digital program has already had 250 partners go through the material, he said.

“That’s hyper scale compared to what we were doing. And it’s still accelerating--we have new partners signing on every week,” Ryals said.

One solution provider that has gone through the program is New York-based BlackHawk Data--whose CEO, Maryann Pagano, said the program has been “truly helpful” in enabling the solution provider to up-level its security offerings. All 20 staff members at BlackHawk Data, including herself, have gone through the program, she said.

“It’s definitely filled a huge gap for us,” Pagano said--noting that in the past she has experienced a feeling of “security overload” while learning about the countless security vendors in the market.

“It really helps you grasp security--we can now understand it at a much deeper level,” Pagano said. “They did a really good job going through all the different vendors.”

As part of the program, Tech Data has also connected BlackHawk Data with a number of security vendors, which the solution provider is now planning to work with. Those include endpoint protection provider Carbon Black (owned by VMware), security ratings provider SecurityScorecard and platform security giant Trend Micro.

“They’ve also helped us get better with Fortinet and get better with Cisco, and helped us just grow the pipeline,” Pagano said. “It’s all about surviving [the current environment] and growing the pipeline.”