XDR Security Firm ReliaQuest Moves To Partner-Focused Sales Model

The company, which provides an ‘open’ platform for extended detection and response, said it has shifted to a model where all new deals will include a channel partner.


ReliaQuest COO Colin O’Connor

ReliaQuest, a provider of extended detection and response (XDR) technology that aims to correlate and prioritize cybersecurity threats across a customer’s environments, has committed to including partners on all of its new deals as it seeks to accelerate its growth with the help of the channel.

The Tampa, Fla.-based company offers the GreyMatter security operations platform that features an “open” XDR architecture. That means the platform can be used to analyze data feeds from third-party tools, allowing customers to leverage their existing security products.

[Related: Mandiant: 79 Percent Of Cybersecurity Decisions Ignore Threat Intelligence]

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The approach has caught on with partners, which already were involved with 70 percent of new ReliaQuest deals in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Colin O’Connor, COO of ReliaQuest.

“From a VAR perspective, what’s really unique is that they’re not having to go in and explain why ReliaQuest is going to replace [tools] that they’ve sold them or put in their environment in the past,” O’Connor told CRN. “Instead they’re saying, ‘Hey, ReliaQuest and the GreyMatter solution actually can help you to maximize the investments you’ve made in tools like CrowdStrike or Splunk or SentinelOne, or your Palo Alto [Networks] stack, or Microsoft stack or whatever it is.”

ReliaQuest integrates with third-party tools to facilitate detection, investigation and response to cyber threats, he said.

XDR has become a major emphasis in the cybersecurity industry in recent years as customers have grappled with a number of growing issues, including a massive shortfall in skilled security professionals, intensifying threats and an overload in alerts from their tools.

Getting Prescriptive

Many of the major players in the cybersecurity industry have made XDR a top focus, but ReliaQuest aims to stand out in part by staying neutral on what tools a customer should use to monitor their environments and devices. In fact, the GreyMatter platform can actually identify gaps in a customer’s product usage and make recommendations about tools that would be useful to adopt, O’Connor said.

For instance, “we are not an endpoint detection response solution, but we know how important it is to have that level of visibility on the endpoint,” he said. “And so if a customer doesn’t have that today, one of the first things that we’re going to do as part of our solution is say, ‘Hey, we’ve noticed you have a critical gap on endpoint, for [stopping threats] like ransomware. So you should look at getting an EDR solution so we can help you continue to mature and grow your security operations platform.’”

This represents a major opportunity for partners, O’Connor said, because “a lot of times partners don’t have that same level of visibility” as ReliaQuest is able to have, in part through having insights on threats from across its 700 customers.

In other words, by working with ReliaQuest, partners can “help be part of that prescriptive solution” for customers, he said. “There’s a lot of value that a partner gets by helping to bring that that level of insight into what’s going on across their [security operations center].”

ReliaQuest has surpassed $200 million in annual recurring revenue, O’Connor said. The privately held company, which last year reached a valuation of more than $1 billion, reports having grown its revenue by 45 percent in 2022 from the year before.

Expanding its work with partners has already been “a huge accelerator for our growth,” and the company believes that its move to a “partner-first” model should help the trend to continue, O’Connor said.

Threat Prioritization

A huge need for customers currently is gaining the ability to better sift through their security data and alerts to find the threats that really matter, said Justin Domachowski, founder and CEO of Canonsburg, Pa.-based Defy Security, a ReliaQuest partner since 2017.

“People want to know: How do we tone down the noise?” Domachowski said. GreyMatter helps tremendously with figuring out what is a real issue, and what is not, he said — and can then answer the question, “where do we go from there? Where do we start?”

That dramatically speeds up response efforts, Domachowski said, while ReliaQuest’s open approach is hugely valuable to customers, as well.

When a customer makes a big investment into new security tools, the “last thing they want to do is have to start all over” with the analytics that utilize their security data, he said.

Additionally, customers are constantly pivoting to different technologies as threats evolve, and ReliaQuest can accommodate those needs as well, Domachowski said.

The “partner-first” shift by ReliaQuest is a huge win for the channel, he said. Defy Security grew its revenue from its business with ReliaQuest by 21 percent in 2022, versus the prior year, and expects to match or exceed that growth rate this year, Domachowski said.

Now that ReliaQuest has embraced “a fully partner-focused model, I think that’ll give us additional opportunities,” he said.