FireEye Stories Blog

Channel Chief Chris Carter On Partner Enablement, Sticking Points, and Opportunity

Channel Partner Insight Innovation Awards 2020 are designed to honor those that have brought true value and innovation to the managed services market. During a year of unprecedented disruption and change for MSPs and organizations alike, this program seeks to acknowledge those that have continued to serve as invaluable allies to the channel.

In December 2020, CPI announced FireEye as its Security Vendor of the Year. Our VP Channels Americas, Chris Carter, also took home the award for Security Channel Chief of the Year for the second year running.

I took this opportunity to sit down with Chris to discuss our channel strategy, some of the recent program enhancements that have been made, and the latest opportunities being made available to our partners.

Let’s refresh readers. How does FireEye approach the channel?

We view our channel partners as part of our extended salesforce and value them greatly as they lend us the external resources needed to successfully scale our business. The cyber threat landscape is as challenging as ever, so it’s crucial that we work together with our partners to ensure that customers have strong defenses in place.

Our program focus remains the same – to offer fantastic margins for our partners, distributors and resellers. We help to increase revenue for these organizations through competitive pricing models, rebates, business-building services, different consumption models, SPIFFs and stackable rewards.

Enablement also plays a crucial role. We offer our channel partners the technology, market intelligence, training and business enablement resources they need to proactively protect their customers. This allows channel partners to leverage FireEye expertise to help them close larger deals.

I think it’s safe to say that the channel along with organizations now largely understand the value of cybersecurity and the tools required to implement strong defenses. What challenge is the team currently helping our partners to address?

You’re right that there is a general appreciation that organizations must protect their data and people from the impact and consequences of cyber attacks. Now our focus is on shifting business perceptions that cybersecurity is something to blindly throw money at. It can and should be a quantifiable business function.

We’re helping our partners and joint customers tackle this challenge of understanding whether individual tools are delivering their expected value with a new cybersecurity risk assessment and management platform called Mandiant Security Validation.

Mandiant Security Validation enables our partners to accelerate growth and generate opportunities both in new market segments and with their current customer base by offering the ability to safely emulate real adversary attacks. This visibility enables organizations to see exactly how their security controls perform against different attack behaviors, so security teams can clearly communicate risk in quantifiable terms, and report back to the board on overall security solution performance. 

Would you elaborate further on the value that Mandiant Security Validation brings to channel partners?

Mandiant Security Validation provides continuous validation of security effectiveness with reliability and accuracy, regardless of IT changes or the evolving threat landscape. These insights can be used to identify redundancy in tools, gaps in defenses and opportunities for partners to optimize and ultimately transform security programs. With Mandiant Security Validation, channel partners have irrefutable evidence as to the effectiveness of an organization’s infrastructure, and clear direction as to the type of investments they should be making.

And as a security technology agnostic platform, partners can position the solution into any environment.

What other opportunities are new to partners this year that they may not be fully aware of?

We’ve taken several actions this year to simplify our program and to make it easier for partners to engage with us. We updated our entire Partner Portal to provide better content on products, training and program essentials such as more co-brandable campaign materials. This includes go-to-market assets and demand generation activities for partner participation around Mandiant Security Validation.

We launched new margin incentives including enhancements and rebates. We refreshed our subscription-based pricing models for FireEye Endpoint Security, FireEye Network Security and FireEye Email Security. We also introduced a Partner Performance Dashboard to make it easy for partners to take a comprehensive look at how their tracking to their goals.

What’s something your excited about right now that we haven’t touched on?

This quarter we introduced Mandiant Advantage: Threat Intelligence. To summarize, the SaaS-based management platform makes it easy for organizations of all sizes to access Mandiant breach data as active threats emerge. I’m excited about this offering for the channel for several reasons.

Mandiant Advantage extends Mandiant frontline knowledge about attackers to end users through easy-to-understand visual dashboards and readouts regarding where individual organizations need to take action right now. By getting the insights into their customers’ hands faster and in these new ways, channel partners are able to reinforce their position as trusted advisors, while helping to protect against the threats that matter most right now.

Partners can now sign up for a free trial.