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ExtraHop: Partners Poised to 'Own SMB and Midmarket for Us'

By Edward Gately
June 12, 2017 - Article
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... my cybersecurity background and knowledge, and that I could help guide the company further into cybersecurity, and we just see it as one of our big growth opportunities.

CP: What sort of challenges does breaking out in the IT security market pose?

CL: Anytime a company expands into a new category or makes an explicit push into a new category, a big part of making that successful is how we market and position ourselves. We’re a platform and we always historically positioned ourselves as a platform. And the language that you use as a platform provider can sometimes be a little bit more broad, a little bit more generic than when you are a purpose-built solution.

A big part of how we’ll break into and create more momentum in cybersecurity is going to be the language that we use, how we market ourselves and to show that we’re not just a platform, that we are a purpose-built solution for certain cybersecurity use cases. So when we go into a customer, we’re not just talking about generic IT analytics; we’re talking specifically about our machine-learning capabilities and our ability to detect anomalous east-west traffic that’s going on inside of their environment, and to do that in the context of cybersecurity detection and response.

In large part the technology is already there, and we built out and added some additional capabilities, when we introduced Addy, which is our machine learning technology … we’re going to continue to expand on that in these bundles that we’re using as a company and these bundles will take our platform to a more purpose-built place for certain use cases, with cybersecurity being one of them.

CP: What is your take on ExtraHop’s channel strategy? Are changes needed?

CL: We have [more than] 200 reseller partners today, and my experience is that channel partners are looking for two things. No. 1 is you break your partnerships into two categories: You have your technology partners and then you have your VARs. And on the technology partner side, there [are] a lot of great synergies that ExtraHop has with other companies ... there [are] a lot of different companies that we can work with from a technology-partnership standpoint where we fill gaps and holes in their technology stack, and we don’t really see any competitive elements. So there [are] lots of great synergies from a tech standpoint.

From a VAR standpoint, my experience is the VARs really want two things. They want predictability and the ability to earn very strong gross margin profits. And a big part of the successful channel strategy is creating and providing that predictability of how they work with ExtraHop, what specific solutions can they go out and position to their customers, how can we insert ExtraHop into their reference architectures and solution playbooks so that their salespeople can know exactly when to use ExtraHop, the problem that we solve, what makes us different/better than the competition, and they can do that in a high-velocity, very repeatable way.

So we want to create this predictability in terms of the solutions that they can use ExtraHop for, No. 1, and then predictability in terms of how we engage with them, and there [are] lots of different ways that you can engage with a channel partner. In some instances, it’s when they bring us into the opportunity, and in other instances we may be bringing them into the opportunity. But we want to make sure they have a very clear sense of ...

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