SlashNext has rebooted their business model from appliance-centric to the cloud, and their differentiation is their attention to phishing threats in other mediums than email.
Anti-phishing vendor SlashNext is going through massive change in their Go-to-Market strategy. They just finished basically rebooting the company away from an appliance model to the cloud, repositioning their technology with two new solution sets. They are beefing up their channel focus, with the shift to a channel-first strategy, and have brought Barry Ruditsky in as SVP of Business Development to head it. Today, they are announcing a new partner program, which provides enablement for each of the five types of partners in Slashnext’s channel ecosystem.
“The company has been around for a few years, but they basically repivoted themselves, and released new products in January,” Ruditsky told ChannelBuzz. “There are two new products, one around endpoints, and one which is cloud-based around incident response.”
Ruditsky joined SlashNext two months ago from BlueJeans Networks, where he has been Senior Vice President of Global Channels. Previous to that he ran Actiance’s OEM and reseller business, and before that, he spent over a decade at various incarnations of Documentum, coming to the company when they acquired eZoom, and going to EMC when they acquired Documentum. Documentum was never a big reseller channel company, but Ruditsky focused on developing strategic vendor relationships.
“What attracted me to come to SlashNext is that the phishing market is exploding,” Ruditsky said. “People think of phishing as an email problem. But 70-80% of phishing attempts today aren’t email. They are in SMS, social media, and advertising that didn’t exist a few years ago.”
That’s SlashNext’s differentiation in the market in the anti-phishing space, Ruditsky emphasized.
“We provide best-in-class protection for phishing threats that are not email based,” he said.
The company’s reboot came from its realization that an appliance-based model is not the best way to deliver that type of technology today.
“A year ago, SlashNext was selling a hardware-based appliance, that sat at different points of access in a company’s network, crawled the Internet and grabbed phishing URLs,” Ruditsky indicated. “The company was not well positioned to succeed in that hardware type of market. It forced us to rethink how to provide that protection to customers.”
“What’s new here is agents for both iOS and Android to provide proactive blocking on those devices, and a browser defence as well to proactively block and protect,” Ruditsky said. During the repivoting, SlashNext also actively integrated with mobile device management systems, SIEMs, SOARs and Single Sign-on vendors, with many of these integration partnerships being completely net-new for the company. They include platforms from Palo Alto Networks, Anomali, ThreatConnect, Splunk and Okta.
The massive shift from selling a box to selling cloud apps is being accompanied by a shift in the Go-to-Market strategy. SlashNext did sell through channel partners before, but now the channel has become the primary focus.
“I’m here to help them become a channel-first company in terms of targeting strategic partners, including MSSPs, solution providers and VARs, as well as OEMs and integration partners,” Ruditsky said. “We are building out our Go-to-Market now and building out our channel. We will be a channel-first company. We are looking to focus on very specific types of channel partners who can resell and leverage our technology.”
MSSPs are really the jewel in the crown here. While the overall focus of the partnering strategy is very select, SlashNext is targeting what Ruditsky termed the top 200 MSSPs in North America.
“Some have endpoint defense and management services,” he said. “Some have threat intelligence services. They are great partners to resell us to protect their customers from phishing. On the other side of the house, their own threat researchers are bombarded by phishing incidents. We automate that and can render a verdict at cloud speed on whether something is malicious or benign. So we have a great value proposition for them on both sides.”
Beyond the MSSPs, Ruditsky said they want to be fairly select in who they partner with.
“As a newer company our resources are more limited and we really want to work with those who invest in us,” he said. “We are starting to approach the classic solution provider VARs. We are talking to carriers. They all offer this service today, using other providers, but those are very email dependent and don’t capture the new vectors like we do.”
There was a channel program with the old incarnation of the company, but since the model has been changed so thoroughly, Ruditsky said that it makes sense to look on the new program as a launch.
The program provides support for five types of partners: MSSPs; VARs; carriers; OEMs, who by definition will be small in number, and the Technology Partners with their integrations. Each will have place partners in a single tier, at this early point in the program’s history.
Ruditsky emphasizes the importance of joint business planning – another reason for a younger company to want to keep the number of partners down.
“I’m a big believer, especially with select partnerships, in having business plans and incenting them with increasing commissions and discounts,” he said. “That’s my model for giving partners a lot of margin. I want them to be able to make a lot of money with us, and build a profitable business around us.”