Trend Micro’s Canadian sales manager for SMBs and MSP discusses the challenges these kinds of partners face, and what Trend is doing to assist them.
Tammy Allen, who spent many years at Canadian RMM company N-able before it was acquired by SolarWinds, and then stayed some time after that acquisition, has been SMB Sales Manager at Trend Micro in Canada for two and a half years. In this role, she oversees SMB and MSP sales. Allen thinks that the unique dynamics of this market, particularly in Canada, pose challenges for an endpoint vendor, but challenges she thinks Trend is well equipped to address.
For well over a decade in the first part of this century Trend was one of the top legacy vendors, together with McAfee, which has been broken into three separate companies, and Symantec, which simply has broken, with their enterprise business now part of Broadcom. Allen stressed that Trend has done a better job in adapting to the changes in securing endpoints than their long-time legacy competitors.
“We have been resilient,” she said. “We have adapted. We have changed. We were doing XDR before anyone else was doing XDR. It has been something of a weakness that this is not all better known, because we don’t talk a lot about ourselves.”
Trend defines the SMB space as the sub 500 seat market and the MSP side.
“We don’t sell direct,” Allen said. “We sell through companies like CDW, Softchoice and Compugen. Everything goes through distribution, where we have TD/SYNNEX, Climb and SherWeb.”
Trend has over 200 MSPs in Canada. The numbers of reseller partners are kept to a minimum, with the big national partners already noted, plus a few niche partners.
Despite the importance of MSPs to Trend Micro’s business in Canada, Allen said that this is not really that well known either.
“Because Trend has been an endpoint security company for a very long time, a lot of people don’t look at Trend as an MSP player, which it very much is,” she said.
Allen stressed that it is important for both MSPs and SMBs to have confidence in their vendors, especially as customers look to reduce the number of vendors across their security stack.
“Lots of MSPs look to fill the gap that other products don’t come to market with,” she said. “MSPs have to have the confidence in the company they are choosing. We are the only vendor on top of all the Forrester ratings this year, including email, XDR, and EDR.
“Having everything all multi-tenanted makes MSPs more confident in what they go to market with,” Allen added. “Our MSP products integrate directly with the RMM/PSA products.”
Allen noted that MSP and SMB-focused resellers face another issue which deepened during the pandemic and remains problematic today.
“Partners and MSPs are STILL facing COVID related issues, especially with respect to hiring and retaining staff,” she said. “From the Trend side, the question is how do we best meet those needs. That involves managed XDR and other products, and providing them with 24/7 support with experts.”
Allen is based in Ottawa, which is the result of her long tenure with N-able, which was headquartered there before their acquisition by SolarWinds. At one point, Trend had a fairly large base in Ottawa, which was the result of their acquisition of Third Brigade back in 2009.
“A lot of that development team is still with Trend, but some of them have moved to Dallas,” Allen said.