Digital Defense adds MSP tier to their channel program

Digital Defense adds a formal MSP tier for the first time, with the conviction that this is where their market is headed, and that if they do it right, it will provide them with major advantages.

Bob Layton, Digital Defense’s SVP and Chief Revenue Officer

Today, vulnerability assessment platform provider Digital Defense is launching a new Managed Service Provider [MSP] tier as part of their overall partner program. It provides – for the first time – MSP-specific enablement like billing cycles that align to MRR business models, and self-provisioning capability. The company is expecting to build out a fairly large group of MSP partners, and acknowledges that this is where growth is headed in the vulnerability assessment area.

The new sub-program is motivated by a desire to assist Digital Defense’s MSP partners in two key ways, providing clearer proof of value for the customer, and  giving MSPs the capability of more rapid monetization, by better optimizing their offerings.

“Having been an MSP myself, I know that for an MSP, delivering proof of value is the hardest thing,” said Bob Layton, Digital Defense’s SVP and Chief Revenue Officer. “The pandemic has created all kinds of conversations for customers, specifically around anything they can cut. MSPs have seen a lot of churn as a result, especially at the low end. They need to show proof of value. Our reporting gives them that, by showing the customer their security posture with a grade. They can show them, for example, that it is a C minus, that they have to address these specific things, and if they do that, that gets you to an A -. Before we showed things like how many tickets you logged. That’s ancient history now. Customers want to see proof of value.”

The new program is also designed to provide greater monetization by making it easier to sell the kind of product customers want to buy today.

“For too long, people bought enterprise products that were never intended to be part of a managed offering scheme,” Layton said. “The result was that end users pay too much for a vulnerability management solution and its also not properly integrated with the rest of their security offerings. The market wants to buy integrated products, not point ones.”

In addition, Layton said that Frontline.Cloud, Digital Defense’s cloud-native SaaS platform, provides MSPs with the ability to easily integrate with other solutions.

“Every MSP today is revisiting what their operational maturity is, askig ‘can we scale’, and ‘are we elastic enough to take advantage of opportunities’,” he stressed. “There are fantastic managed offerings out there that we can enhance – we are poised to become number one or two in this market in a short period.”

Digital Defense believes that with the right MSP enablement, the company has key advantages in the market today because of the changes that are taking place.

“We have well over 100 active partners, and a lot of the partners we have had for years have been transforming their businesses to add MSP offerings,” Layton said. “This is a new track in the program, but in a year or two, we wont have anyone interested in a VAR track or a referral track. Things now are very disruptive. Private equity firms are combining MSPs to create MSSPs. ISPs are becoming MDR solutions and upsetting relationships with MSPs. You have a company like CrowdStrike morphing their portfolio to become an MDR provider. We created this new track because we are steering this ship into this cloud of disruption. Taking care of the MSPs and showing them how to make money is what will win, not the features and benefits that were important to a VAR or an enterprise client.”

The new track has three tiers, with appropriately graded benefits.

“The highest level tier is for high level MDRs and MSSPs, who manage a million assets or more,” Layton said. “The lowest tier is MSPs and VARs trying to be MSPs, who would have tens of thousands of assets managed. The middle tier is large MSP and smaller MSSPs, and the assets managed would be between the other two.”

The plan is to eventually have thousands of partners in the lowest tier, hundreds in the middle, and less than 100 in the top tier.

Frontline.Cloud already had a true multi-tenant architecture, facilitated quick and easy deployment for rapid monetization, and permitted the customizable reporting that demonstrates proof of value. They also have a large number of API integrations, and are in the process of adding more.

“We are already integrated with most of the ISVs important to our partners, such as ServiceNow, on the high end, Cortex, LogRhythm, Cisco, and RSA. We are actively working with ConnectWise and SolarWinds to get integrated there. This is where the market is heading and that’s where we are.”

What has now been added are flexible billing cycles that align to MRR business models, self-provisioning on the Frontline.Cloud platform and procurement directly or through cloud marketplaces including AWS, Azure, Oracle and Google.

“These new capabilities are all absolutely brand new,” Layton indicated.