Cloudflare enhances channel program to add more support around services for small and medium sized MSPs

Cloudflare’s services offerings centred around SASE and Zero Trust are being revamped with new support mechanisms, including an MSP licensing plan targeted at smaller partners, as well as with new program paths and a new MSP accreditation.

Matt Harrell, Global Head of Channels & Alliances at Cloudflare

Today, San Francisco-based Web infrastructure and security provider Cloudflare is announcing enhancements to their Cloudflare Channel and Alliances Partner Program, to meet enhanced demands for Zero Trust Managed Services and to broaden support among their partner base to be able to deliver them effectively.  New program paths are being introduced to better enable service partners, and a Managed Services Partner Accreditation is being introduced as well. Additional support around services enablement is being introduced in the form of new technical services and partner success managers, as well as an MSP-only licensing plan.

“Since we introduced the partner program last April, there has been a strong interest in it,” said Matt Harrell, Global Head of Channels & Alliances at Cloudflare. “We also needed to make it more consumable, not just by large MSPs but by small and medium MSPs who work with different segments of the market.”

In addition, there has been massive interest in using our Zero Trust solution for Work From Home use cases, so we wanted to make Zero Trust easier to consume in an outcome-based model.”

The MSP-only Licensing Plan has been expanded and enhanced, both to move it beyond enterprise partners and to make it more effective.

“We had an enterprise license plan before, but it hadn’t leveraged the best of Pay-as-you-go,” Harrell said. “There was some work to be done to enable that to happen. We have seen tremendous interest from the smaller SMBs, but we needed to be able to service them. That’s why we are doing this with the licensing plan. They wanted us to make it easy to consume. So we have created an MSP licensing model, and then layered on elements of Zero Trust, which were not in the licensing at all before.”

In addition to making it easier for MSPs to consumer managed services, Harrell said Cloudflare also wanted to make it easier for them to deliver value-added services.

“The idea here was to make it easier for service providers to deliver value added services, like advisory services about how to get to full Zero Trust,” he said.

The new pricing plan is in soft launch.

“We are working with a limited set of MSPs on it today, and we are looking at the second half of 2022 for the General Release,” Harrell said.

New regional technical and partner success managers have also been added specifically to help partners develop, drive, and expand their Cloudflare-based services offerings, specifically around SASE and Zero Trust.

“This is a net-new investment,” Harrell said. “We are growing fast, and are continuing to invest heavily to grow the business.”

Also new is tenant API Provisioning, which allows all partners to use the Partner Platform’s extensibility to support the provisioning and deployment of the Zero Trust suite.

The new program paths will also have three new tracks. Advanced Managed Services Partners is aimed at partners providing managed IT services for small to midsize organizations through the Cloudflare platform.

“We want to work with all partners who are committed to the business,” Harrell indicated. “Our addressing this entry point market speaks to the seriousness that they are committed. We believe that philosophically, MSPs who address SMBs have different commitment levels in terms of how they can engage.” These Advanced MSP Partners will have access to tools that will help embed Cloudflare into their services offerings to deliver unique, outcome-based SASE and Zero Trust solutions.

Elite Managed Services Partners is a track for global partners with resource-intense engagement in IT consulting, advisory, and large-scale services in the Large Enterprise segment. They get access to dedicated technical and sales resources as well as a named Partner Success Manager.

The third track, Services-Only Partnerships, is invite-only for partners who deliver general professional services, specifically highly technical services such as Application Modernization via Cloudflare Workers development, Implementation and Migration Services, and Security Assessments.

The new Managed Services Partner Accreditation supports the new Services Program by providing the foundational tools for creating the Cloudflare customer experience. Course highlights include best practices for services design, implementation, and providing ongoing technical and relationship management.

“There is a massive transformation that’s happening now,” Harrell concluded. It’s  an enormous opportunity in moving the non-digital native and there’s a tremendous opportunity for partners to help customers make that transformation – like the advisory services, moving from on-prem VPN to cloud based, and helping them move off their cloud infrastructure.”