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Vectra Lands Jessica Couto As Channel Chief To Grow Partner Base

The cybersecurity vendor has tasked Couto will building out relationships with solution providers and clients in non-NFL markets that are interested in better protecting their network without having to increase staffing

Vectra has snagged former Carbon Black channel chief Jessica Couto to help the cybersecurity vendor expand its footprint in second-tier cities in the Americas.

The San Jose, Calif.-based company has tasked Couto will building out relationships with solution providers and clients in non-NFL markets that are interested in better protecting their network without having to increase staffing. Many of these customers today don't work with standard security vendors, Couto said, but are interesting in gaining more visibility into gaps in their security posture.

"The partners now have to get smart as to where to spend their time," Couto told CRN. "This is a really good time to work with our partners."

[Related: Cybersecurity Startup JASK Hires Jessica Couto As Channel Chief]

Couto started at Vectra Sept. 9 following 10 months as the global channel chief at early-stage cybersecurity vendor Jask, and previously had experience building partner programs at startups like IntSights, Hexadite, Carbonite, and Carbon Black. Couto's arrival come just two months after Didi Dayton ended her brief tenure as Vectra's global channel chief to become a partner at Wing Venture Capital.

Solution providers outside the major cities might have a smaller book of business than their more urban counterparts, Couto said, or might be more interested in delivered services to customers such as a network security assessment. Vectra today has more than 80 registered partners across its authorized, select and premier tiers, Couto said, of which less than 10 percent are managed service providers.

Couto plans to sit down with Vectra's field sales organization and major accounts team and assess on a region-by-region basis where the company does or doesn't have enough channel partner coverage. The company could end up adding some solution providers in metro metropolitan areas as well if it's determined that current coverage levels are insufficient, according to Couto.

From a services standpoint, Vectra is looking to help partners run network security assessments on their own so they can provide customers with more front-end insight and analysis, Couto said. Making partners more self-sufficient from a services standpoint will open up business opportunities and lessen their dependence on Vectra's internal staff, according to Couto.

Couto is also looking to establish a more steady stream of communication with partners through everything from monthly newsletters and webinars to updated training content on the partner portal. Couto plans to dedicate someone on her channel team to training and enablement to ensure that the latest product information is being communicated to partners in a timely manner.

Vectra is looking to increase the share of business going through managed security service providers (MSSPs) and systems integrators (SIs) to more effectively reach midsize enterprises that have small security teams, according to Couto. The company also wants to invest in the 85 percent of the channel that is also working with Vectra technology partners like CrowdStrike, Splunk, AWS, VMware and Azure.

Vectra began working with Splunk in 2016 and CrowdStrike in 2017, and has expanded in the relationship in recent months to include an API-level integration with CrowdStrike and new interfaces between Vectra's threat detection and response tool and Splunk.

Vectra's capabilities around the network are truly complementary to what CrowdStrike is doing around the endpoint and what Splunk is doing from a security management perspective, said Mike Banic, the company's vice president of marketing.

"It's great to see support coming from the top down for the channel," Couto said. "It's an exciting time for us, and I think the partners will see a lot of great things continue to grow."

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