Following the recent Channel-Sec event in May, one of the themes that emerged was growing IT complexity – especially around cyber security. Partners are managing on-premises, cloud, edge and hybrid ways of working within an ecosystem of hundreds of critical applications. Many delegates agreed that within this complicated landscape, MSPs are increasingly tasked with not just delivering better cyber security but also finding ways to operate more efficiently even as the marketplace grows more competitive.
In the latest instalment of IT Europa Business Insights, Contributing Editor Will Garside sat with Matthew Rhodes, Regional Director for MSSP & Strategic Accounts at Logpoint to discuss complexity, operational efficiency, automation and the build vs buy challenge.
Although recognising the complexity challenge, Rhodes sees opportunities for the channel community. “MSSPs need to move up that value chain. So rather than offering services such as patch management and hardware maintenance, they need to be offering true security outcome-based services. Now, this is a huge opportunity for the MSPs that move along this journey, but equally to take what a business is doing today and evolve it into something slightly different, also brings its challenges.”
Talking to Logpoint partners, Rhodes has seen a lot more adoption of automation in recent years but also renewed focus on consolidation. “We're seeing a lot of our partners consolidating down into a single platform that adds this automation and allows integration with other existing tools, …this will give you is a lot more efficient process for your staff, a lot less training, more expertise, and ultimately better FTE rates.”
Rhodes also touched on the ‘Build vs Buy’ question and although he agreed that buying and reselling white label cyber security services was a great way to “dip your toe in the water” he questioned the longer-term value.
“…the notion of going to SAS Hosted Solutions is challenging the value of what channel partners are able to give to clients because it's no longer kind-of a resell of technology,” he says, “And if you go down the notion of just buying somebody else's services in and white labelling it, you're almost following the same process that we have done for years of just buying technology and reselling it.”
“So, I think to become sticky with your clients from an MSSP perspective, and to have that long term sustainable USP, you have to build it, [so] that people within your company have to be your USP …and not just the technology or the services that you're selling,” he adds.
Logpoint, which recently moved into the ‘Visionaries’ segment of the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is actively recruiting partners. In a tight market, Rhodes believes that alongside its strong technology, its pricing model is particularly attractive to the channel. “One of the challenges that [the channel] have is the vendors always wanting the big chunky PO up front with the three-year committed deal,” he quips, “Whereas, what we've built is consumption-based billing for our MSSPs. So effective, we're giving them a mechanism to commercial deal with us in the same they want to commercial deal with their clients.”