eSentire broadens EDR ecosystem with new CrowdStrike alliance

eSentire has been a strategic partner of Carbon Black – and that partnership remains in force notwithstanding VMware acquiring Carbon Black – but the new partnership with CrowdStrike gives eSentire customers more choice and channel partners more options.

Today, Waterloo Ontario-headquartered MDR [Managed Detection and Response] provider eSentire is announcing a new strategic partnership with CrowdStrike, which makes an artificial intelligence-based EDR [Endpoint Technology and Response] endpoint security solution.

The EDR space is a fairly new one, and given that newness, eSentire has had a long-standing partnership [since 2016!] with Carbon Black, who most would consider to be CrowdStrike’s principal competitor. Earlier this year, Carbon Black was acquired by VMware. eSentire is emphasizing, however, that the Carbon Black partnership is still in place, and that the CrowdStrike deal is intended to supplement it, not replace it.

“Our partnership with Carbon Black remains very strong,” said Chris Braden, VP of global channels and alliances at eSentire. “We originally chose that technology partnership for reasons that remain valid. While their acquisition by VMware raises concerns around the potential for change down the road, we don’t see anything at this point around the relationship that would cause us concern. They are still a very strong player in the EDR space.”

The new CrowdStrike partnership is principally aimed at providing eSentire customers and partners with a second strategic EDR option.

“As we looked at our product road map over a year ago, we realized the need for a second solution,” Braden said. “Carbon Black and CrowdStrike are the two leading vendors in the space, so we thought the choice was obvious. Warburg Pincus is our principal investor, and they are also invested in CrowdStrike, and that didn’t hurt either. But this is about giving partners and customers another choice in EDR. The customer often manages the next gen AV component on their own, so we can offer them a choice with this. We have partners as well who resell us who also resell CrowdStrike instead of Carbon Black.”

Braden said that neither endpoint offering has major advantages over the other.

“There are some minor tradeoffs in the technology,” he stated. “In a Linux environment for example, CrowdStrike is more capable, but that’s not a large percentage. The overall incident response system tends to be Carbon Black centric. But we don’t see an ability to do something with one, that you can’t do with the other. Sometimes it’s just an emotional decision.

“They are both strongly competitive,” Braden added. “That’s one of the things that drove us to want to ingest CrowdStrike’s data and utilize their technology.”

The partnership will see a joint go-to-market strategy, integrating eSentire’s cloud-native MDR service with the cloud-native CrowdStrike Falcon Platform. eSentire’s MDR portfolio will also add CrowdStrike’s Overwatch proactive managed hunting services to their esENDPOINT offering.

“CrowdStrike mainly goes to market through resell partners, while for us the endpoint technology is one of three core offerings for us, and is a piece of the puzzle,” Braden said. “These partners now can offer more choice. It widens the aperture with prospects who have CrowdStrike, and lets them address those. Partners who already work with CrowdStrike are understandably enthused.”

CrowdStrike partners not already using eSentire’s MDR offerings will benefit as well, Braden said.

“We are very complementary to their technology,” he said. “When we are involved, we also have a higher conversion rate to sales, and tend to have a higher renewal rate than pure resell products.”

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