Sky’s the limit

Tim Stone, global channel lead at Skyhigh Security, talks Comms Business through the company’s channel strategy.

How many channel partners does Skyhigh Security have in the UK?

Skyhigh Security currently works with around 50 channel partners in the UK today. Some of these are already highly skilled and knowledgeable on our products and offerings, and with others we are working hard to get to that point.

How are you developing a new channel strategy for Skyhigh Security?

As part of our new channel strategy, we want to build more intimate and collaborative relationships with our partners, ensuring that we’re aligned across every aspect of the sales cycle. To achieve this, we’re prioritising partnering earlier and more strategically.

Another core part of our strategy and a big success factor for us is making it as simple as possible for our partners to sell our solutions. This includes giving them the necessary training and ensuring that they have the knowledge they need to advise customers throughout the whole lifecycle.

With our dedicated go to market team, we can shadow our partners if required in guiding customers and prospects through this process which, in turn, drives demand generation and sales.

How will Skyhigh Security work with its channel partners in the UK?

Our strategy has a few key components, including ensuring real-world profitability for partners and arming them with the necessary expertise and case studies that they need to support customers.

We are beginning to see an appreciation for simple security solutions. As a result, Skyhigh Security is working with channel partners to explain complicated cloud security solutions in simple terms so that business leaders can commit to growing their business in a risk-free environment.

We are also de-emphasising professional and managed services capabilities and giving that to our channel partners. Our partners play an important role in ongoing customer engagement for success, value added services, consultancy and integration, so we want to make sure that is reflected in the way we work with them.

This interview appeared in our July 2022 print issue. You can read the magazine in full here.

How are they encouraging channel partners to sell solutions?

While many organisations claim to reward 10 to 20 per cent, we’re making sure this profitability and protection actually exists for our partners. We encourage our channel partners to sell solutions by showing them where the solutions lie and how they can monetise them. We emphasise the importance of these solutions and how they may be mutually beneficial to building valuable relationships and businesses.

Because we are structurally set up in a different way, we’re encouraging our partners to deliver services that demonstrate proof of value for customers. By highlighting the need to drive adoption of technologies while illustrating value, it avoids the common ‘shelf wear’ problem many partner/customer life cycles can face.

How is Skyhigh Security’s channel model different to McAfee Enterprise?

Skyhigh Security was born to be more agile and focus exclusively on the cloud market, driving stronger alignment to customer needs. When we were operating as one large company, we had a very broad portfolio of products and services. In turn, our approach to market was also at the same scale, meaning we lacked the agility to go after growing markets.

By splitting the company and targeting individual areas, there is an intensity to the business that we were lacking before. The development of our new channel strategy reflects this shift. We’re prioritising expertise, collaborative services, and making it easy for our partners to work with us. We want to help customers navigate the complex cybersecurity landscape by leveraging channel partners that are true domain experts and can demonstrate proof of value.