Microsoft 365 Security Exec Rob Lefferts On MSSPs: ‘I Want Them To Make More Money’
Wade Tyler Millward
‘If they have more powerful tool sets, then you can turn those analysts and force multipliers to cover your ground and you’ll be able to have more customers and you’ll be able to make more money,’ Lefferts tells CRN in an interview.
Rob Lefferts, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365 Security, wants to help the tech giant’s managed security services providers make more money through simplifying customer acquisition, improved analyst training and providing new capabilities for Microsoft security products including software interfaces that allow more intelligence integrations.
“If they have more powerful tool sets, then you can turn those analysts and force multipliers to cover your ground and you’ll be able to have more customers and you’ll be able to make more money,” Lefferts told CRN in an interview.
He continued: “Wherever there is a new idea about a new capability that we can offer that lets the MSSP show off more value to the customer, then they get to make more money.”
Lefferts – who’s been at Microsoft for more than 25 years – caught up with CRN during RSA Conference 2022, held in person in San Francisco with parts streamed online.
He weighed in on the importance of MSSPs to not only Microsoft’s security go-to-market strategy, but the Redmond, Wash.-based tech firm’s desire to provide more security to small and midsize businesses (SMBs)
Lefferts told CRN about co-selling, co-marketing and training resources available for MSSPs and sought to assuage any concerns around Microsoft’s repeated appearance in headlines over product vulnerabilities.
“Microsoft has a broad portfolio,” he said. “We build platforms, we build some of the most used platforms in the world, Windows, Office and Azure. And so those are complicated and they have bugs. And whenever we see them, we fix them.”
He wants users to know that Microsoft views its security tools as beneficial to environments with a variety of vendors – not just within Microsoft environments.
“As you look at adding new little niche projects to solve problems, but also, as you look at our suite of stuff – it’s our strategy that you can pick up any one of those components and have it bring value and solve a problem and integrate with the rest of your stack,” he said. “It is not like you have to rip everything out and go Microsoft. I sometimes hear people say this, ‘Well, if you’re a Microsoft shop then it’s great.’ That’s not a thing. There is no such thing, and that’s not my strategy. My strategy is that you could deploy endpoints or identity or SIEM (security information and event management) and have that component bring value into the environment you’re already running.”
Here’s what else Lefferts had to say.