Microsoft partnership will drive opportunities for Tanium partners, channel chief says

Todd Palmer, senior vice president of global partner sales at Tanium

Tanium’s partnership with Microsoft will open doors for its partner to bring new services to customers, the company’s channel chief says.

Announced in September, the partnership will see Tanium’s real-time endpoint data accessible in the Microsoft Sentinel security dashboard.

Rob Lefferts, corporate vice president of modern protection for Microsoft, spoke at Tanium’s Converge user and partner conference in Austin, Texas, this week to share Microsoft’s side of the story on the partnership. He said the partnership ensures “security people have information when they’re looking for that most important thing to worry about.” He also touched on the changing nature of partnerships with security vendors for Microsoft.

“We’re here to protect customers. If a partner can work with us on that and will make it better and make it easier, we’re all in,” Lefferts said. “When we have partnerships like this, customers will use our tools and be excited to use them because they’re getting better outcomes.”

Orion Hindawi, co-founder and CEO of Tanium, joked that it was a definite change in mindset for a company that existed to do “things Microsoft should do but doesn’t” to be working closely with the Redmond, Washington-based software giant.

“Two years ago, if you’d asked me if I could partner with Microsoft effectively, I would have said no.”

But as Hindawi tells it, a meeting with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela got the ball rolling, and now the two are working closely together.

For Todd Palmer, senior vice president of global partner sales at Tanium, the partnership means a chance to become more strategic to his partner base. While Tanium is a big company, it’s small compared to Microsoft, and its channel partners are predominantly large system integrators and MSPs. And all of those partners have significant practices around Microsoft, some scaling into billions of dollars of annual revenue.

“If I can add value to their $2 billion Microsoft practice, I become more relevant,” Palmer said.

While he said Tanium is still working with its partners to understand their Microsoft practices and where they can add value, he does see some early opportunities, mainly around providing security assessments using Tanium tools.

“It lets them show customers the total deployment they have of Microsoft and the challenges and vulnerabilities they may have,” Palmer said. “That shows them opportunities for more services they can bring to their big Microsoft customers.”

Currently, Tanium is still in the early stages of educating partners they share with Microsoft on the opportunities to bring Tanium in “and brainstorming on the types of businesses we can run together on.” Still, Palmer said Tanium sees this as a recipe for success with partners working with Tanium and other major enterprise vendors.

“A large number of our partners have large ServiceNow practices, for example,” Palmer said. “If I can show them how Tanium can add tremendous value to their customers, that’s great value my partners can add. These tech alliances are important.”

Robert Dutt

Robert Dutt is the founder and head blogger at ChannelBuzz.ca. He has been covering the Canadian solution provider channel community for a variety of publications and Web sites since 1997. 

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