Lance Buchholz, Skybox Security’s new VP of channel, alliances, and GSIs, shares his thoughts about the current state of the partner market. How have partners been impacted by recent disruption within the industry? Are there any new opportunities for cybersecurity partners? And how can Skybox help partners to achieve their business goals?
Skybox Security: The role that cybersecurity partners are expected to play is constantly evolving. Have you seen a shift over the last year?
Lance Buchholz: We all know that the only constant in cybersecurity is change. Over the last few years, change has been led by the migration of processes and workloads to cloud or hybrid cloud environments. The move to cloud has been accelerated by the pandemic as companies found ways to provide their newly-minted remote workforce with access to secure company information. Suddenly, digital transformation became a top priority. And, in turn, the expertise and capabilities of their cybersecurity partners became more valuable than ever. Partners have always been key to helping customers with their digital transformation needs – now, they’re needed more than ever.
SS: What new opportunities are there for cybersecurity partners? And what challenges does this shift present?
LB: In-person meetings have been paused over the last year. Which makes it more difficult for organizations to build relationships with vendors. The high-touch approach used by many vendors to understand what’s driving their customers’ business decisions and how to address their biggest challenges has all but vanished. Nevertheless, CISOs and CIOs know that they need to rapidly transform their programs to improve security posture and reduce risk. This is where trusted partners, who have built long-standing relationships with customers over many years, have a starring role to play. There is nobody better suited to provide the business value that customers need.
But while this provides clear opportunities for partners, it also creates a lot of pressure. The recommendations that partners make need to deliver proven, long-term results that improve overall levels of security and deliver ROI. Now that they’re under the spotlight, they need to think about how to bring their expertise to the table so they can get to the heart of their customers’ biggest problems. This requires a focused approach. They need to demonstrate how any new tool can improve the effectiveness of existing solutions. They need to operate with an understanding of the entire security environment, working to achieve visibility of security controls within the largest and most complex organizations. And they need to seize on this moment to build strong foundational security.
If they can achieve all of this, then they won’t just be facilitating their customers’ long-term success – they will also be able to develop more service-led opportunities that will grow their own business.
SS: How does Skybox help partners to achieve their business goals?
LB: We are always working with our partners’ goals in mind. We strive to be the cybersecurity industry’s easiest and most valued company to partner with. At the heart of this is our team, who work in allegiance with our partners to understand their priorities and business practices; what their company goals are for the next 3-5 years; and how their representatives are measured and incentivized. And we go a few steps beyond this, consulting with our partners to truly understand their customers’ biggest cybersecurity challenges and establishing whether Skybox could be beneficial.
And then there’s our platform. We have the solution that they need to gain focus and to provide long-term value to their customers. This is a platform that offers unparalleled visibility of the entire, fragmented security environment. It’s used by security and network teams to analyze and validate network, cloud, and security configurations together to proactively gain full context and understanding of their expanding attack surface.
It’s also a platform that offers simplicity. It unifies vulnerability and policy management capabilities, allowing organizations to establish a mature and tightly connected security posture management framework across planning, implementation, and continuous change management workflows. And instead of having to be experts in 20 different tools, our partners just need to be experts in one: Skybox.
With Skybox, partners can help their customers intelligently identify and address cybersecurity exposure and compliance risk. They can improve operational efficiencies and scale across IT and security teams. They can maximize their customers’ resources. Further, they can improve the predictability of their engagements with customers by becoming a service-led partner. Skybox’s platform has the capabilities that partners need to achieve all of this.