Pondurance adds first Channel Partner program as part of more systematic channel strategy

MDR provider Ponderance has had partners for a while, but started to get serious about building out a powerful, profitable channel only in late 2020, and the new partner program is the next step in this strategy.

Lyndon Brown, Pondurance’s Chief Strategy Officer

Indianapolis-based MDR provider Pondurance has launched their first channel program, the Pondurance Channel Partner Program. It comes on the heels of a major effort over the last 15 months to improve the company’s support of channel partners, and make it more structured, and easier to work with Pondurance. The new program is a three-tiered one, and is targeted at solution providers, MSPs and systems integrators.

Pondurance has been in business since 2008, starting out as a security consultancy helping customers build more proactive strategies.

“We moved from there into incident response,” said Lyndon Brown, Pondurance’s Chief Strategy Officer. “We had a customer we did some incident response for. That’s where our managed services started, where customers wanted to keep us after a brief engagement.”

Pondurance now defines itself as an MDR player, while also still providing incident response and security services.

“Differentiating oneself in this market can be hard,” Brown said. “MDR is a category defined by both leveraging technology and humans to respond to breaches. Most MDR player aren’t really MDR. Like SIEMs, they provide a single dimension around log information. You need to have a broader aperture. You need 360 degree visibility networks. Most MDR vendors don’t provide that. They are endpoint security or log management. Many MDR vendors also detect but don’t respond. Having a closed loop incidence response is fundamental to claiming you are MDR. In addition, most MDR vendors own the data. We believe in data transparency and don’t get in the way between customers and their data.”

Brown said that the company’s market looks like a Bell Curve.

“We have both enterprise and small business customers but the majority are mainly midmarket, in the 500-2500 employee range,” he indicated. “Our focus is on North America.”

The channel has been around for a while, but until recently, it was opportunistic and unsystematic.

“Over the last few years there was a channel business, but there were no dedicated channel personnel, as we were more opportunistic,” Brown stated. “As we expanded, about a year ago, we began to invest in a dedicated channel team.” Tim Horigan was brought in in December 2020 as Director of Channel, North America as a key part of this effort.

“Now we are announcing our first true channel program, with enablement content and materials and investment around comarketing,” Brown added. “There were partnerships before but not a scalable program with tiers like this.”

Brown emphasized that both large and small partners are welcome in the program. At launch, the Pondurance Channel Partner Program has partners of all sizes and includes VARs, cybersecurity consultants, MSPs, hosting services providers [HSPs] and service provider agents across North America.

“We want to help customers and do it through avenues that they are most comfortable with,” he said. “We just announced a partnership with GuidePoint, who can cover a large swath. But if we go to Tulsa Oklahoma, we find a strong local partner with a presence in several nearby towns. We have both tracks for regional partners to help them be successful, and for national partners, With both, the focus is rewarding the ones who are more successful.”

The program has three tiers – Associate, Premier and Elite – which are based on a combination of revenue and certifications.

“For each tier, there are certification requirements for both sales engineers and account executives, Brown said. “These are all provided through the partner portal, and complemented with some live sessions as well.”

Brown stressed that Pondurance wants to make it really easy for partners around enablement support.

“We know that partners have lots going on,” he said. “This is designed to be easy button. We have a team of channel account managers and sales engineers to take conversations further with clients – we also spiff around enablement and bookings.”

Brown said that several factors should lead quality partners to consider working with Pondurance.

“Partners care about three things,” he commented. “One is working with a product that customers care about and where the partners can have conversations with the customer about services. We believe our flavour of MDR is hyper-relevant there. One is making it easy for the partner. And one is delivering high quality services that drive high renewals and also revenue expansions. We can deliver on all of these.”