Category Archives for "Managed Services News"

Dec 21

AT&T, Lumen, Verizon, Intrado to Pay Over $6 Million in FCC Settlements for 911 Outages

By | Managed Services News

The companies agreed to implement a compliance plan to ensure adherence to these 911 rules.

AT&T, Lumen Technologies, Verizon and Intrado have agreed to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) settlements totaling more than $6 million for 911 network outages.

The FCC’s enforcement bureau has settled five investigations into the communications providers’ compliance with the agency’s 911 reliability rules during network outages that occurred last year. To resolve the matters, each company has agreed to the FCC settlement payments.

Moreover, they agreed to implement a compliance plan to ensure adherence to these 911 rules.

FCC's Jessica Rosenworcel

FCC’s Jessica Rosenworcel

Jessica Rosenworcel is FCC chairwoman.

“The most important phone call you ever make may be a call to 911,” she said. “Sunny day outages can be especially troubling because they occur when the public and 911 call centers least expect it. It’s vital that phone companies prevent these outages wherever possible, and provide prompt and sufficient notification to 911 call centers when they do occur.”

FCC Settlements

CenturyLink (now Lumen) will pay a $3.8 million settlement. That resolves an investigation into whether it violated FCC rules in connection with the failure to transmit 911 calls and timely notify 911 call centers during an outage on September 28, 2020.

AT&T will pay a total of $460,000 to settle two investigations. First, a $160,000 settlement resolves an investigation into whether AT&T violated FCC rules in connection with failed 911 calls and the failure to timely notify potentially affected 911 call centers during a 911 outage also on September 28, 2020. The second is for a separate outage that also occurred on the same day. AT&T will pay a $300,000 settlement, which will resolve an investigation into whether it violated FCC rules in connection with failed 911 calls, and failure to deliver number and location information.

Intrado will pay a $1.75 million settlement. That resolves an investigation into whether it violated FCC rules in connection with an outage that affected the delivery of 911 calls on September 28, 2020, and to timely notify 911 call centers regarding the outage.

Finally, Verizon will pay a $274,000 settlement to resolve an investigation into whether it violated FCC rules in connection with failed 911 calls during an outage on May 7, 2020.

Dec 21

Channel Futures Presents Most Influential MSPs of 2021

By | Managed Services News

This list features the elite executives from our 2021 MSP 501 list who truly moved the needle this year.

What does it mean to be an influencer? No, we don’t mean those with thousands of Instagram followers who tout their daily skin care routine (although, exfoliating is important) to the masses. We are talking about the industry leaders and MSPs who demonstrated steady leadership and truly moved the needle this year.  

There are a great number of partners within our MSP 501 list (and in general) who deserve to be recognized and applauded for their efforts in leading their organizations through one of the most tumultuous periods of time in recent history. Many shops not only survived the worst of the pandemic, but thrived. Those businesses, and their leaders, deserve a huge nod. 

To narrow down our choices for this list, we looked at our 2021 executive of the year award applicants. This award is designed to highlight the extraordinary individuals who set their companies apart from the rest. For this list, we dove deep into the achievements of organizations’ top executives and what distinguishes them from others. 

These were the partners who demonstrated true influence and leadership in terms of marketing prowess, customer experience, financial success, operational efficiency and community service. 

Thus, we are proud to present our list of the most elite industry leaders and influential providers of 2021. 

Click through our slideshow above to view our top influential MSPs.

Dec 21

Beyond Identity Urges Channel to Capitalize on Demand for Passwordless

By | Managed Services News

Passwords are a “universal headache” says Beyond Identity’s VP for EMEA.

There’s a huge opportunity for the channel to help customers ditch their passwords, says Beyond Identity.

VP for EMEA Tony Shadrake is building a channel to take the vendor’s passwordless solutions to market. He said that because of cultural and technical shifts during COVID-19, identity-first security represents how many workers will function in the future. This is regardless of whether they’re remote or office-bound.

“Gartner predicts that 90% of midsize enterprises will implement some kind of passwordless method by the end of next year. So there are some aggressive goals and predictions out there around this space,” he said.

“From a partner perspective, there’s a tremendous opportunity to take on and push a stronger authentication platform than they have,” he added.

Passwords a ‘Universal Headache’

Shadrake said there are obvious downsides to passwords and the current multifactor authentication (MFA) options available. These encompass both user friction and security vulnerabilities.

Beyond Identity's Tony Shadrake

Beyond Identity’s Tony Shadrake

“Everyone agrees that passwords are a universal headache. If we want to log into our bank account we get a text message or a pin that’s sent to us. Although we’re comfortable with receiving that pin or text message, it’s annoying,” he said. “If you look at particularly over the past 18 months, 80% of ransomware attacks are due to stolen credentials or account takeovers. There’s this dichotomy where everybody knows that passwords or credentials represent a massive security gap. But we’re comfortable with what we’ve implemented over the past 24 months with MFA.

“We want to provide a stronger authentication platform for everybody,” he said, “so to increase everybody’s security posture.”

The vendor said the Beyond Identity Passwordless Identity Platform provides a frictionless way to authenticate without one-time codes or having to pick up a second device.

Rather than send a password to a server to verify a user, their device does it. Using biometrics, it verifies workforce identities and continuously evaluates risk signals of every user and every device requesting access at the exact time of login.

“Your computer or your phone authenticates you and validates you to the whole internet,” said Shadrake.

Targeted Channel Recruitment

Beyond Identity’s Workforce product integrates with a web single sign-on (SSO) solution. As such, it notes the crossover with partners of Okta, Ping Identity and ForgeRock.

“We’ve got around five or six partners signed in the UK. We’ve got a couple in Israel and three or four in the Nordics at the moment. Frankly, we don’t want too many. We want the key Okta, Ping and ForgeRock customer bases. So it’s been a very targeted channel to go after,” said Shadrake.

“The channel likes solutions that are simple to understand and simple to articulate the value,” he noted. “Also, products that are complementary and integrate with other solutions. Certainly, we do that on the Workforce side with the integrations with the SSO vendors.

“We’re not asking their customers to rip and replace what they’ve got,” he continued. “We adhere to existing standards so we’re not looking for customers to completely rearchitect their infrastructure. Every partner is always looking for ways to make them stickier in their accounts. And we certainly will do that for them with this technology.”

Beyond Identity received both Series A and B funding of $105 million in April and December 2020. Part of that was to build its passwordless platform, but also to invest in an EMEA team. The company now has 12 people on the ground in EMEA and an engineering support centre in Slovakia. It looks to increase its headcount to 35 in 2022, and around 60 by 2023.

“We’re being pretty aggressive as an organisation,” said Shadrake.

 

Dec 21

LG All-in-One Thin Clients Preloaded with IGEL OS Set for Release in 2022

By | Managed Services News

LG is the latest OEM to bundle IGEL’s Linux-based thin client operating system on select computing devices.

Select LG All-in-One thin clients and desktop computers preloaded with IGEL OS will arrive in the channel next spring. IGEL and LG Business Solutions last week said they will deliver and offer global support for the validated VDI endpoints.

LG Business Solutions is a division of LG Electronics that offers commercial IT products including laptops, displays and digital storage. The systems preconfigured with IGEL OS will include the 24CN650 LG All-in-One and the CL600N desktop thin client. IGEL OS is a Linux operating system that runs VDI images on new and existing PCs and other thin clients.

New cloud-based desktop as-a-service (DaaS) offerings such as Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD), Amazon WorkSpaces and more recently Windows 365, among others, have accelerated demand for IGEL OS. Besides Amazon WorkSpaces and Microsoft’s AVD/Windows 365, many Citrix and VMware Workspace One customers use thin clients with IGEL OS.

LG is the latest OEM that has launched devices with IGEL OS installed at the vendor’s factory. Last month, HP also announced new thin clients installed with IGEL’s Linux-based edge operating system. Furthermore, Lenovo this year added the OS as an option for its thin clients. Also, NComputing rolled out its RX420 Arm architecture Raspberry Pi4 thin client with IGEL OS for Citrix environments.

Thousands of LG Thin Clients Deployed

As a member of IGEL’s Ready alliance, partners purportedly deployed thousands of LG devices with IGEL OS this year.

IGEL's Jed Ayres

IGEL’s Jed Ayres

“We’ve seen some seriously large transactions with IGEL and LG,” IGEL CEO Jed Ayres recently told Channel Futures.

Much of the demand for LG’s virtual clients comes from health care providers, a core market for the company. Navid Faryar, LG’s end-user client computing executive, recently discussed the partnership during a recent IGEL roadshow event in New York.

“Our success is growing monumentally and IGEL has such a large footprint in the health care space,” he told attendees during the event.

LG Electronics' Navid Faryar

LG Electronics’ Navid Faryar

Among its portfolio of mobile and desktop devices is the 24CN670NK-6N LG All-in-One Thin Client for Medical and Healthcare. Designed for shift workers, the medical grade device has a built-in RFID module.

During his presentation at the IGEL event, Faryar described a deployment for Kaleida Health. The Buffalo, New York, health care provider treats 1 million patients annually. Kaleida Health, which needed to give its clinicians standardized remote and onsite access to its Citrix VDI infrastructure, chose the LG All-in-One 24CK550N thin client.

XenTegra and Kaleida Health

XenTegra, a Citrix and IGEL partner, handled the configuration and rollout of the systems for Kaleida Health. The deployment started with a few clinicians and has surpassed 300 IGEL OS-based endpoints and 50 remote systems, according to a case study published by IGEL. Kaleida plans to ultimately implement 1,500 LG endpoints with IGEL OS.

Faryar also showcased the newest model of the LG gram mobile thin client, which is IGEL-certified. Computer Products Corp. (CPC) is among those that provides LG devices with IGEL.

CPC decided to invest in the IGEL-LG partnership last year, forming what it calls the IGEL Advantage Group. In that group, CPC has IGEL Advanced Certified consultants. CPC’s president of business development, Bruce Poor, was with Faryar during the IGEL event.

“We really believe in the LG-IGEL partnership,” Poor said. “We can do custom configurations and we even do custom shipping and asset tag inventory.”

 

Dec 21

Your Security Blueprint: Understanding the Sales Process & Technical Requirements

By | Managed Services News

A solid security blueprint provides customers with knowledge and solution, but a robust sales process and technical requirements are crucial to its success.

A solid security blueprint helps you provide customers with the knowledge and solutions they need to protect their data and systems. But to ensure its success, you need to develop a robust sales process and understand your technical requirements.

What does that mean?

To shed some light, let’s look a little deeper at each of these key areas.

The Cybersecurity Sales Process

Your security blueprint sales process needs to address your key objectives and define your target customers and sales cycle. This helps you understand the solutions your customers need, determine how many leads it will take to convert and generally get a handle on the lead conversion process.

Understanding your customers’ requirements is a crucial step in this process, and you typically have two models available:

  1. Provide a single value-add service that helps customers address specific risk factors.
  2. Provide various business and technical options for customers to select from and display the risk assessment.

What to Offer Customers

At the start of the cybersecurity blueprint sales process, you need to understand how much a customer is willing to risk and how much they’re willing to pay to mitigate it.

You can then cater to customers’ needs using these considerations:

  • Risk tolerance level: The appetite for risk differs for each customer, and some organizations–due to their culture, industry, regulations, or other factors–may have a very low tolerance for risk while others are comfortable operating with the knowledge that threats remain.
  • Identify critical data: Identifying a customers’ most vital data will help you prioritize securing specific software, systems and data. This may often be affected by changes in their business or if they’ve previously been breached.
  • Investment vs. risk tolerance: The sales process is primarily a discussion of risk and how much a company is willing to accept. Companies either need to pay for the necessary cybersecurity solutions to achieve their desired risk level or learn to assume more risk.
  • Limitation of liability: This is crucial if a customer decides not to defend itself and doesn’t want you to protect them. It provides documentation covering your responsibilities and proves you’ve offered services that an organization has opted out of.
  • Business vs. technical audiences: Who are you talking to? The tone and details of the sales process can differ significantly based on whether you’re dealing with a business- or technical-minded individual. A business audience is typically focused on how much a solution costs, whether they have the right resources, if it aligns with their business, and how they will be billed. A technical individual, meanwhile, will be more interested in how they will implement and deploy the solution, how long it will take, and how disruptive it will be.

Essential Technical Requirements

Modern organizations face a massive number of attack vectors that threaten everything from their network and operating systems to their devices and users. Security solutions are designed to protect against and respond to one or more attack vectors–a responsibility that becomes more complicated when an attacker uses multiple approaches.

Before implementing a security solution, you first need to assess a customer’s level of risk and how much risk your infrastructure can tolerate. This will likely include their specific requirements, which may fluctuate based on the industry they operate in, the damage an attack could cause and the cost of failing to prevent it.

You need to balance the necessity of security solutions with the cost of implementation.

Typically, you will have three options available:

  1. Build an internal security team that enables you to become a one-stop shop for all security solutions and technologies. This tends to be more expensive as it requires highly skilled security personnel.
  2. Partner with a security vendor to outsource technical tasks. This demands less time to run and removes the cost of recruiting highly skilled experts–but it’s still crucial to pay attention to a customer’s IT environment.
  3. Work with a partner to resell managed security. This hands-off approach passes on the hard work of securing customers’ IT environments while you focus on your core business.

It’s also essential to have a good understanding of the wide range of solutions available to organizations. For example, customers can often be confused by having to choose between multiple options like security information and event management (SIEM), security orchestration automation and response (SOAR), extended detection and response (XDR), endpoint detection and response (EDR) and managed detection response (MDR).

Discover how Bitdefender can help you define your security sales process by downloading our “From Blueprint to Foundation, Addressing the Gaps in Your Security Design” whitepaper.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Dec 21

A (Security-Centric) Look Ahead for MSPs

By | Managed Services News

The growing need for security expertise combined with a cyber talent shortage give security-centric MSPs a distinct advantage.

As we approach the end of another year of pandemic living and read the economic tea leaves for 2022, it’s important to remember that while there have been significant ups and downs in the business environment, the fundamentals for MSPs have remained consistent. Security is a critical concern, and MSPs that haven’t shifted to a security-centric focus will be left behind.

We think several key trends will be vital as we head into 2022. First, of course, if we learned anything over the past two years, is that you never know what might happen. But for MSPs, that uncertainty can unlock new opportunities with small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Those include:

Security will remain top of mind.

The shift to remote and mobile work environments has continued as the lingering pandemic kept many employees from returning to the office. In some cases, the remote work option will remain permanent as companies try to leverage flexible work schedules to accommodate current employees and attract new ones.

With the hybrid work transition, cybercriminals took advantage of less-secure network connections. That has made it more apparent to many companies that they don’t have the resources internally to protect their apps and networks sufficiently. As more SMBs become aware of growing cyber risks, MSPs will continue acquiring new clients. With the increasing number of emerging threats, security-centric MSPs and solution providers ready to help organizations respond to cyber crises have a distinct advantage.

However, there are still many challenges facing MSPs attempting to position themselves as security-centric providers. For example, there is a massive cyber security talent gap, and it can be difficult to effectively manage the various components and vendors required for a robust cybersecurity offering.

We anticipate that MSPs that standardize their cybersecurity offerings will see lower operating costs because they’ll have to respond to fewer incidents and generate more monthly recurring revenue and higher margins.

MSPs can play a more prominent role in helping companies navigate the evolving cybersecurity landscape.

 We believe that every MSP will have to be security-first to succeed.

Right now, most SMBs have no one to call if they have a cybersecurity problem. Without internal resources or an existing infrastructure to fall back on in the event of a breach, MSPs are positioned to be the very first call when there’s an attack or a breach.

There is growing awareness about security risks among SMBs, and we predict that MSPs will see an increase in emergency security calls in the future. That will be true even for MSPs that haven’t actively pursued security business, since clients have few, if any, other options. But, ready or not, MSPs are the only organizations with the connections and the equipment to help SMBs address their cybersecurity challenges.

The cybersecurity skills shortage will continue to be a challenge for clients (and an opportunity for MSPs).

Labor shortages have been a hot topic across almost every industry this year, and the effects of the pandemic economy on the labor force have exacerbated the existing shortage of qualified security professionals. We see the cybersecurity skills shortage becoming even more challenging in 2022.

The demand for individuals with years of experience in cybersecurity (like CISOs and infosec directors) is increasing exponentially. However, there simply aren’t enough individuals with the appropriate level of relevant experience to meet security hiring demands. As a result, it will take a long time–and a lot of training–to fill the pipeline.

Many clients don’t fully understand what this means. Because this talent gap exists, businesses can’t get the help they need, even if they want to. So, an SMB may be well aware that they need to invest in cybersecurity personnel, but no qualified applicants are available. And if they are, they may not be available at a price most SMBs can afford. This is creating opportunity for MSPs, who alongside cybersecurity partners (like Barracuda), can fill this talent gap.

The experiences of the past two years have helped prepare MSPs for the growing demand for cybersecurity solutions and expertise, along with the need for services around cloud solutions and remote computing. While many companies were caught flat-footed in 2020, the past year has allowed everyone to adjust to new business realities and reassess their capabilities and IT needs. MSPs that invest in security-centric product offerings will continue to reap the rewards.

Neal Bradbury is Vice President, MSP Strategic Partnerships, for Barracuda MSP, a provider of security and data protection solutions for managed services providers. Bradbury is responsible for generating greater business value for the company’s MSP partner community and alliance partners.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Dec 21

2022 Guide to MSP Success

By | Managed Services News

Certain trends seem likely to continue into 2022; MSP success depends on the way they are approached and addressed.

If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that trying to predict the future is a fool’s errand. From politics to pandemics to the economy, the only sure thing is that there is no sure thing.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t learn from the past and apply those lessons to the future, even when we’re not exactly sure how things will end up. As MSPs look ahead to 2022 and adjust their plans accordingly, there are some trends that seem unlikely to waver, regardless of what tumultuous events come our way. MSP success depends on the way these trends are approached and addressed.

RTO is TBD

While some organizations have embraced remote work by de-emphasizing physical offices or ditching them altogether, most business still want at least some employees to be on-site at least some of the time. Initially, return-to-the-office (RTO) plans focused on schools reopening or vaccine availability, and plenty of companies have already welcomed workers back.

But for businesses able to function well with a remote workforce, delta and omicron have scrambled their risk budgets and calendars, forcing many leaders kicking the can further down the road. This means ringing in the New Year won’t necessarily coincide with a widespread RTO.

Remote work’s semi-permanent state is also influencing how companies spend their IT dollars. Hardware purchases are skewing more heavily toward laptops, in tandem with increases in cloud computing and additional investments in productivity and communication software (and the bandwidth required to support their heavy usage).

MSPs have an important role to play in continuing to help their clients navigate this state of semi-permanent limbo. With a more holistic approach, MSPs can be a trusted partner that helps businesses think more strategically about their approach rather than being purely reactionary.

A Hot Job Market in a Remote World

Businesses can’t find enough people to fill their openings, employees are feeling empowered, and many jobs can now be done from anywhere. This confluence of circumstances is creating turmoil and churn in unprecedented ways.

First, businesses risk losing pretty much any staff member at any time to a more attractive offer or them simply opting out of the workforce for the moment. This means lots of turnover.

When new hires join, they need to get their accounts provisioned and outfitted with equipment, which might be used from their home office more often than at headquarters. This means IT departments have their hands full trying to acquire hardware, ship it out, and get employees appropriate access to required systems. It also means there are brand new employees to train up on the intricacies of their applications and networks, not to mention security protocols.

At the same time, current employees may be walking out the door, requiring shutting off access, retrieving hardware and reshuffling permissions. It also means a lot of institutional knowledge is headed for the exits, and key-man risks are suddenly in the spotlight.

MSPs can help SMBs mitigate the chaos in a few ways. Standardizing and automating routine processes can lighten the workload related to bringing on (and removing) staff. Meanwhile knowledgebases and documentation software can capture as much essential information as possible in an organized fashion, making it easier to navigate when possessors of institutional knowledge depart.

MSPs can also help clients assess their overall staffing strategies, identifying areas where cross-training and redundancy could benefit the organization. Employee training programs are another area where MSPs can provide guidance and content. And don’t forget to right-size SaaS seat licenses whenever the dust settles.

Staff Turnover Impacts MSPs, Too

MSPs don’t only have to worry about their clients’ employees coming and going–their own staff is just as much of a flight risk. Demand for IT professionals is soaring, and any worker with a wandering eye might find more attractive offers await.

While MSPs can perform many of the mitigation tasks above in-house as well, it’s also a chance for MSPs to rethink their own approach to staffing. Bringing on employees from less expensive labor markets is an opportunity to reduce the average cost of headcount and build up a more diverse talent pool.

But even if you’re hiring a systems administrator in Sioux Falls instead of Seattle, be prepared to pay a premium since they’ll no doubt have other bidders for their services. And by investing more in automation and management tools, MSPs will be able to scale more efficiently without having to keep adding on increasingly costly new staffers.  Click on Page 2 to continue reading…

Dec 21

AppDirect Raises $80 Million for AppSmart Invest Program, Courts Partners

By | Managed Services News

“It’s not an investment in AppDirect; it’s a joint investment in technology channel,” an executive told Channel Futures.

Subscription commerce provider AppDirect has announced $80 million in funding that will go to channel partners of its AppSmart division.

San Francisco-based AppDirect received the funding from Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), which handed AppDirect $185 million in 2020. The new $80 million will expand the AppSmart Invest partner funding program in addition to help establish an overarching funding arm named AppDirect Capital.

AppSmart earlier this year unveiled its Invest program, which provided technology adviser firms with upfront and recurring capital without taking any equity away from them. A total of $45 million went to 11 different partners, according to chief marketing officer Adam Christensen. Members include Global Communications Group, Netstar Communications and On Track Communications.

Christensen said AppSmart intends to expand its list of participating firms with the additional $80 million.

Christensen, Adam_AppSmart

AppSmart’s Adam Christensen

“[The goal] is very much to bring in more Invest partners across a broader spectrum,” he told Channel Futures.

Christensen said CDPQ’s funding varies considerably from what it has done in the past with AppDirect. While the rest of AppDirect’s $400-plus million investments have gone to strengthen the company itself, he said the new $80 million functions as a “pool of money” for the channel.

“It’s not an equity thing; it doesn’t change in our evaluation. It’s not an investment in AppDirect; it’s a joint investment in the technology channel,” he said.

AppSmart Invest

Christensen said Invest members fall into three different buckets, though all sport a growing recurring revenue business. The first group will use the funds to double down on their existing business model. The second group spins up new business endeavors. The third group uses Invest as an opportunity for an exit, according to Christensen.

Program members make the AppSmart marketplace their lone platform for brokering technology. The exclusivity does not apply to their subagents or to solutions that AppSmart doesn’t offer. However, Christensen said the Invest program is helping to enlarge AppSmart’s ecosystem.

“The point of this is really kind of consolidating business and growth with AppSmart,” he said.

Christensen differentiated the program from the many agent rollups that are occurring in the space. Upstack, for example, has acquired more than 15 consultancies through the backing of private equity firm Berkshire Partners.

“We’re not like a PE trying to roll up a bunch of channel partners. This is really about getting that money to invest in their growth,” Christensen said.

Partner Perspectives

Mark Venuto is chief revenue officer for Ohio-based US Network. The firm met with AppSmart in early 2020 to learn about the funding program.

“We were very intrigued after our first meeting, and we continued our conversations — as I am truly glad we did. US Network was one of the very first AppSmart Invest partners,” Venuto told Channel Futures. “This truly allowed us to change the way we were doing business and expand with a very rapid growth pace. AppSmart is an amazing company with a brilliant executive leadership team that will truly change the overall view and landscape of the entire indirect/MSP channel.”

Venuto has shared that US Network’s partnership with AppSmart led to it going back into its existing customer base to …

Dec 21

Your Security Blueprint: Understanding the Sales Process & Technical Requirements

By | Managed Services News

A solid security blueprint provides customers with knowledge and solution, but a robust sales process and technical requirements are crucial to its success.

A solid security blueprint helps you provide customers with the knowledge and solutions they need to protect their data and systems. But to ensure its success, you need to develop a robust sales process and understand your technical requirements.

What does that mean?

To shed some light, let’s look a little deeper at each of these key areas.

The Cybersecurity Sales Process

Your security blueprint sales process needs to address your key objectives and define your target customers and sales cycle. This helps you understand the solutions your customers need, determine how many leads it will take to convert and generally get a handle on the lead conversion process.

Understanding your customers’ requirements is a crucial step in this process, and you typically have two models available:

  1. Provide a single value-add service that helps customers address specific risk factors.
  2. Provide various business and technical options for customers to select from and display the risk assessment.

What to Offer Customers

At the start of the cybersecurity blueprint sales process, you need to understand how much a customer is willing to risk and how much they’re willing to pay to mitigate it.

You can then cater to customers’ needs using these considerations:

  • Risk tolerance level: The appetite for risk differs for each customer, and some organizations–due to their culture, industry, regulations, or other factors–may have a very low tolerance for risk while others are comfortable operating with the knowledge that threats remain.
  • Identify critical data: Identifying a customers’ most vital data will help you prioritize securing specific software, systems and data. This may often be affected by changes in their business or if they’ve previously been breached.
  • Investment vs. risk tolerance: The sales process is primarily a discussion of risk and how much a company is willing to accept. Companies either need to pay for the necessary cybersecurity solutions to achieve their desired risk level or learn to assume more risk.
  • Limitation of liability: This is crucial if a customer decides not to defend itself and doesn’t want you to protect them. It provides documentation covering your responsibilities and proves you’ve offered services that an organization has opted out of.
  • Business vs. technical audiences: Who are you talking to? The tone and details of the sales process can differ significantly based on whether you’re dealing with a business- or technical-minded individual. A business audience is typically focused on how much a solution costs, whether they have the right resources, if it aligns with their business, and how they will be billed. A technical individual, meanwhile, will be more interested in how they will implement and deploy the solution, how long it will take, and how disruptive it will be.

Essential Technical Requirements

Modern organizations face a massive number of attack vectors that threaten everything from their network and operating systems to their devices and users. Security solutions are designed to protect against and respond to one or more attack vectors–a responsibility that becomes more complicated when an attacker uses multiple approaches.

Before implementing a security solution, you first need to assess a customer’s level of risk and how much risk your infrastructure can tolerate. This will likely include their specific requirements, which may fluctuate based on the industry they operate in, the damage an attack could cause and the cost of failing to prevent it.

You need to balance the necessity of security solutions with the cost of implementation.

Typically, you will have three options available:

  1. Build an internal security team that enables you to become a one-stop shop for all security solutions and technologies. This tends to be more expensive as it requires highly skilled security personnel.
  2. Partner with a security vendor to outsource technical tasks. This demands less time to run and removes the cost of recruiting highly skilled experts–but it’s still crucial to pay attention to a customer’s IT environment.
  3. Work with a partner to resell managed security. This hands-off approach passes on the hard work of securing customers’ IT environments while you focus on your core business.

It’s also essential to have a good understanding of the wide range of solutions available to organizations. For example, customers can often be confused by having to choose between multiple options like security information and event management (SIEM), security orchestration automation and response (SOAR), extended detection and response (XDR), endpoint detection and response (EDR) and managed detection response (MDR).

Discover how Bitdefender can help you define your security sales process by downloading our “From Blueprint to Foundation, Addressing the Gaps in Your Security Design” whitepaper.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

Dec 21

Your Security Blueprint: Understanding the Sales Process & Technical Requirements

By | Managed Services News

A solid security blueprint provides customers with knowledge and solution, but a robust sales process and technical requirements are crucial to its success.

A solid security blueprint helps you provide customers with the knowledge and solutions they need to protect their data and systems. But to ensure its success, you need to develop a robust sales process and understand your technical requirements.

What does that mean?

To shed some light, let’s look a little deeper at each of these key areas.

The Cybersecurity Sales Process

Your security blueprint sales process needs to address your key objectives and define your target customers and sales cycle. This helps you understand the solutions your customers need, determine how many leads it will take to convert and generally get a handle on the lead conversion process.

Understanding your customers’ requirements is a crucial step in this process, and you typically have two models available:

  1. Provide a single value-add service that helps customers address specific risk factors.
  2. Provide various business and technical options for customers to select from and display the risk assessment.

What to Offer Customers

At the start of the cybersecurity blueprint sales process, you need to understand how much a customer is willing to risk and how much they’re willing to pay to mitigate it.

You can then cater to customers’ needs using these considerations:

  • Risk tolerance level: The appetite for risk differs for each customer, and some organizations–due to their culture, industry, regulations, or other factors–may have a very low tolerance for risk while others are comfortable operating with the knowledge that threats remain.
  • Identify critical data: Identifying a customers’ most vital data will help you prioritize securing specific software, systems and data. This may often be affected by changes in their business or if they’ve previously been breached.
  • Investment vs. risk tolerance: The sales process is primarily a discussion of risk and how much a company is willing to accept. Companies either need to pay for the necessary cybersecurity solutions to achieve their desired risk level or learn to assume more risk.
  • Limitation of liability: This is crucial if a customer decides not to defend itself and doesn’t want you to protect them. It provides documentation covering your responsibilities and proves you’ve offered services that an organization has opted out of.
  • Business vs. technical audiences: Who are you talking to? The tone and details of the sales process can differ significantly based on whether you’re dealing with a business- or technical-minded individual. A business audience is typically focused on how much a solution costs, whether they have the right resources, if it aligns with their business, and how they will be billed. A technical individual, meanwhile, will be more interested in how they will implement and deploy the solution, how long it will take, and how disruptive it will be.

Essential Technical Requirements

Modern organizations face a massive number of attack vectors that threaten everything from their network and operating systems to their devices and users. Security solutions are designed to protect against and respond to one or more attack vectors–a responsibility that becomes more complicated when an attacker uses multiple approaches.

Before implementing a security solution, you first need to assess a customer’s level of risk and how much risk your infrastructure can tolerate. This will likely include their specific requirements, which may fluctuate based on the industry they operate in, the damage an attack could cause and the cost of failing to prevent it.

You need to balance the necessity of security solutions with the cost of implementation.

Typically, you will have three options available:

  1. Build an internal security team that enables you to become a one-stop shop for all security solutions and technologies. This tends to be more expensive as it requires highly skilled security personnel.
  2. Partner with a security vendor to outsource technical tasks. This demands less time to run and removes the cost of recruiting highly skilled experts–but it’s still crucial to pay attention to a customer’s IT environment.
  3. Work with a partner to resell managed security. This hands-off approach passes on the hard work of securing customers’ IT environments while you focus on your core business.

It’s also essential to have a good understanding of the wide range of solutions available to organizations. For example, customers can often be confused by having to choose between multiple options like security information and event management (SIEM), security orchestration automation and response (SOAR), extended detection and response (XDR), endpoint detection and response (EDR) and managed detection response (MDR).

Discover how Bitdefender can help you define your security sales process by downloading our “From Blueprint to Foundation, Addressing the Gaps in Your Security Design” whitepaper.

This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.

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