Comms Business Magazine talks to Graham Jones, Managing Director at Exclusive Networks UK, about the changing face of security and how resellers can adapt and change their approach to providing a more integrated and joined up set of solutions and services to their customers.
At the time of writing yet another global incidence of ransomware, dubbed ‘Petya’, had hit unprepared organisations around a world still reeling from the WannaCry attack that paralysed much of the UK NHS IT infrastructure a few weeks earlier.
Graham Jones, Managing Director at Exclusive Networks UK, says that this goes to show just how many instances there are of organisations still using outdated and un-patched software. “If I was buying from a good VAR with whom I had a long-term relationship I would be upset if my organisation was affected by ransomware attacks.”
Jones says Exclusive Networks, a €1.4billion global firm with group headquarters in Paris, 150 staff located throughout the UK working from an HQ in Alton, fills in the gaps left by broad-line distributors.
“As a value-added distributor, Exclusive Networks provides a full range of reseller services such as pre-sales support, joint marketing initiatives, product knowledge, solution evaluation stage assistance, training and installations services. We undertake business planning with our top 80 VARs and effectively become a key part of their business. All of our business is conducted through the channel.”
Exclusive Networks embraces a more holistic approach to security problems. Called CARM (Cyber Attack Remediation & Mitigation), this is a is unique cybersecurity solution framework, driving a portfolio of disruptive and innovative cybersecurity solutions on the journey to address a market where risk is constantly changing.
“Instead of being motivated by fear, organisations use the CARM framework to think in a new way about cybersecurity challenges, using tools to target and accelerate improvement according to their specific objectives and circumstances. The resulting climate of fear stops many businesses from embracing their digital potential and yet those who successfully operate at the digital frontier have 2-3X faster profit margin growth.
The CARM framework is about putting together complimentary security services and getting closer to the customer. There are far too many instances of VARs selling stand-alone solutions and selling on price alone. To meet the needs of today we need to be more consultative and provide all encompassing security solutions.”
To illustrate the point Jones points to seeing a number of mid-market VARs fade away as they fail to move with the market and that the influx of the ‘cost plus’ reseller selling only on price just cannot be a great idea for security products.
Jones acknowledges that a changing market is putting pressure on distributors as well as VARs.
“The impact of a move to cloud based application deployment with suppliers such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft is resulting in a shift from hardware to software based solutions but when it comes to data security the end user still remains responsible for security. What this indicates is that a lot of education is needed at all points in the supply cycle.”
The May 2018 introduction of GDPR is clearly a significant event for the channel and Jones says that whilst much of the regulation is common sense there are many issues that need addressing such as who has access to what and the whole encryption process.
“As each day passed GDPR increases in significant for the channel. There is increased awareness of the new regulations but there needs to be more. Some vendors seem to think they can do it (GDPR) all themselves but this is a myopic and short sighted view.
Users need to have a trusted supplier that they have worked with for a while.
Did you know that more than 18,000 Metropolitan Police computers are still running Windows XP? Exclusive Networks has given a lot of thought to the whole security market and how to help their reseller channel best address it. CARM sounds a logical process and to support it the firm has produced a GDPR bible for reseller reference as well as a number of white papers on the security market that are available from their web site.
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