This post is part of an ongoing blog series examining predictions and recommendations for cybersecurity in 2018.
It wasn’t long ago that success in the security channel was based on a partner’s ability to integrate point products. The more point products you offered, the better because the complexity – and, therefore, your margin – was in providing product integration services. The stalwart performers during this era were called “solution providers.”
But as the volume and sophistication of today’s cyberattacks increase, point product approaches that deliver detection and remediation capabilities have proven to be ineffective. Customers want to prevent successful attacks from the endpoint, across the network and within any cloud.
What we have is the industry’s first prevention-based, highly integrated and automated, Next-Generation Security Platform. Our best partners have been part of a fundamental shift in the channel to think beyond the point – that is, beyond point products.
To help our channel partners build a successful platform practice, we evolved our channel mission to build a partner ecosystem of next-generation security innovators, experts at enhancing the platform to prevent successful cyberattacks.
Early adopters of the next-generation security innovator success factors have benefited greatly. In fact, in FY17 we had more than 100 partners double their business with us and ended the year doing more than $1 million in sales for Palo Alto Networks. These channel partners have helped us define the next-generation security innovator blueprint for success.
This is only the beginning of a massive channel migration, which we predict will accelerate in 2018 because of the cloud, but not for the reasons you might think.
The common belief is the cloud changes everything. Ironically, it is what the cloud doesn’t change that will help accelerate this migration in 2018:
- Security will remain a strategic priority for every company and organization in the world, regardless of where the data resides.
- Security risks will stay the same – different data centers, same risks.
- A true platform approach will still be key to prevention, and whether on-premise or in the cloud, customers know that legacy point products are incapable of protecting their businesses.
With a clear understanding of the customer’s cloud security priorities, risks and need for a platform, channel partners have realized they must strengthen their value proposition and differentiate themselves by accelerating their migration to becoming next-generation security innovators.
Now that we understand the baseline reasons for channel partners to accelerate their migration, let’s focus on the motivation. In 2018, I recommend our channel partners explore our new licensing model. Optimized for the cloud, our new licensing model addresses two fundamental cloud adoption issues for our channel partners:
- How to build a sustainable cloud business practice when sales are fluid or unpredictable?
- How do I compensate my sales team on much smaller per-use deals?
We unveiled our new licensing model in April 2017. Since its launch, the average deal size has been more than $300,000. We have created a licensing model that is perfect for channel partners. Our ability to successfully bundle pay-per-use into a license that is both predictable and easy to compensate for will be the motivating factor that drives thousands of partners to accelerate their migration to next-generation security innovators.
What are your thoughts and predictions for cybersecurity in 2018?
Learn more by exploring these helpful next-generation security innovator resources:
- Next-generation security innovator success factors
- Next-generation security innovator blueprint for success
- Partner SE lifecycle guide for becoming a next-generation security innovator
- Security platform partner campaign kit
- CYBERFORCE, our partner technical recognition program, focusing on platform expertise
[Palo Alto Networks Research Center]