Stellar Cyber has had a strong cadre of MSPs using their Open XDR platform, but resellers have been underrepresented among their partner base, so the new partner program was designed specifically to strengthen them with this part of the partner ecosystem.
Today Stellar Cyber, which makes a security operations platform using Open XDR, has announced a new channel program specifically for their reseller and distributor partners. The InterSTELLAR Partner Program complements an existing program that provides enablement support for MSPs and MSSPs.
Stellar Cyber’s Open XDR platform is one approach that can be taken in the modernization and automation of SOCs, which is currently underway.
“Someone has to sit in front of a console at a SOC, but it has largely involved a manual correlation,” said Steve Garrison, Stellar Cyber’s VP of Marketing. “The trend now is to bring them together with machine learning, and the key is what the foundational technology will be.”
Garrison thinks that the differentiation in their Open XDR platform provides them with several advantages.
“First, we are not trying to solve all problems for all people,” he said. “We focus on the 99% of SMEs who can’t afford what the 1% can afford. Secondly, selling mousetraps is so 1990. We believe in enablement. Finally, we play upon an open API-driven platform that will integrate with anything. We fill in holes in the attack surface. As simple as open is, it really works.”
Stellar Cyber’s channel consists of over 150 partners globally, of whom about 50 are in North America.
“Half of those are MSPs and MSSPs, and some of them can resell,” Garrison said. “The channel also includes high-profile resellers like Pomeroy and Presidio, although to date that reseller channel has been a weak link in our Go-to-Market.”
Accordingly, while Cyber Stellar had a partner program before, it was really for MSPs and MSSPs. The InterSTELLAR Partner Program, on the other hand, is a parallel program to the MSP program.
“This is our first program for resellers and distributors,” Garrison said. “The programs are separate but some of our MSSPs are resellers, so will be able to take part in this program as well. This is filling out a part of our strategy, that reseller story that we didn’t cover before. We estimate that 80% of the partners in this program will be resellers, and the rest will be MSPs who also resell.”
The program has two tiers, 5 Star, for the higher performers and 1 Star, where they are eligible for what Garrison termed the low hanging fruit. Any reseller can achieve 5 Star status.
“We considered it very important not to make it complex,” he said. “Our new channel chief [Randy Johnston] asked partners what was important to them and that was a consistent message. The purpose of this program is to go after well established resellers, through distribution [notably Ingram Micro], but you will also see us partnering with more SIs.” Indeed, yesterday Stellar Cyber announced a new partnership with Hitachi for the Japanese market.
All partners in the program are eligible for table stakes enablement, although not all of these are available in the entry tier of some companies’ programs. These include availability for MDF funds, lead sharing and SPIFF programs. All partners also have access to a partner portal with a library of collateral, sales tools, and campaign ideas.
The Five Star level of the program also provides access to sales development resources to pursue target accounts and access to a white glove enablement team. There is also a branded Cybersecurity Academy for Open XDR training and certification.
“We will train a select number of new partners to expand our feet on the street, but we are not looking for a mass army, just a handful of people who will dig in with us,” Garrison said. “You don’t grow wisely with spray and pray tactics.”