New Channel Chief Points Sophos at Cloud, MSSPs

Kendra Krause, vice president, channel sales, Americas, Sophos

Kendra Krause, vice president, channel sales, Americas, Sophos

Sophos continues to build out its channel team, introducing Kendra Krause as the company’s new vice president of channel sales for the Americas just months after bringing on channel veteran Mike Valentine as it new senior vice president of worldwide sales.

Krause arrives at Sophos as it looks to amplify its presence in the cloud. The company has formed a new cloud business unit, and introduced Bill Lucchini as its first general manager. And top on her agenda are advancing the company’s presence in higher-value opportunities, namely in the cloud and with managed security service providers (MSSPs).

“There  are developments coming in the cloud that will be advantageous and very unique for our partners,” Krause said of products in the works that are four to five months from debuting at this point. “It will be a great play for existing MSSPs and for traditional solution providers looking to get into managed security.”

Before those products launch, Krause said there’s work to be done on programs for both cloud and managed security partners, and the partner base in general. While the security company is hard from an unknown, both Krause and Valentine speak of the need to grow its channel community through new programs and enhanced presence in distribution. Krause, a veteran of Fortinet, SonicWall, and WatchGuard, described the company as “this hidden secret that I’m happy I discovered.” Now her challenge is to make sure the channel community discovers it as well.

“There are a lot of partners that don’t know our full story on both the endpoint and the gateway, and we need to change that,” she said.

Top of the list is improving how the company generates and delivers leads to its solution providers. Then, she sees the company tackling a classic problem with which channel chiefs everywhere struggle.

“We need to become easier to do business with,” Krause said. “Things are good, but I’d like to make them great. I’m looking forward to streamlining the process, growing our revenue, and making sure there’s margin protection there for partners.”

After that, it’s time to get down to one-on-one recruitment, one of her top priorities over the next year.

Details of the yet-to-be-discussed products or programs may not have to wait too long. Krause and the rest of the Sophos leadership will be headed to Washington, DC in three weeks for the company’s North American Partner Connections conference. And as much as it will be a first opportunity for Krause to make her case, it is, of course, preaching to the converted, so it’s a logical place for program enhancements and preview of the products to come.