Tom Cheeran, Head of Channel Business, Trend Micro discusses how his organisation is purely channel-focused and the channel partners contribute significantly to its revenue
What have been the key highlights of 2019 and how will 2020 be an important year for the IT channel industry?
We are witnessing a tremendous growth in endpoint detection and response (EDR) and managed detection and response (MDR) in India. In 2019, Trend Micro announced the launch of its local managed XDR data centre service in India. While many customers are considering outsourcing complex security tasks to cybersecurity professionals, many are concerned about their sensitive data leaving the country. The managed XDR data centre service solves this data sovereignty issue. Last year, Trend Micro also launched an industry-ready certification program in IT security (CPITS) initiative in India, which aims to groom the next generation of cybersecurity professionals within the industry. We are purely a channel-focused company and the channel partners contribute significantly to our revenue. This year, we are trying to build an ecosystem where we leverage our channel partners’ security operations centres (SOCs) and existing capabilities, and work together with them to deliver innovative solutions to the customers. Our end goal is to grow together with the channel partners.
Can you share the top three technology trends that the channel community should be betting on and why?
With digital transformation picking up pace in India, many organisations are adopting next-gen technologies which include AI, big data, blockchain, robotics, etc., across all sectors. These technologies help in performing huge complex tasks in an accurate and simplified manner.
Cloud-based services are becoming increasingly more attractive to organisations as they offer cost savings, flexibility, and increased operational efficiency. However, protecting systems, applications, and data in the cloud presents a new set of challenges for organisations to overcome. This ever-expanding cloud environment gives rise to new types of risks, which need to adapt and learn how to utilise the tools, controls, and design models needed to properly secure the cloud.
AI and big data dramatically accelerate the identification of new threats and responses, helping to block attacks before they can spread widely, and prevent cyber-attacks with minimum human intervention. Blockchain technology is revolutionary and will bring meaningful differences in how people do business, also it helps in preventing fraudulent and deceitful actions using cryptography, ensuring that they remain meddle-proof.
The digital transformation of industries, infrastructure and cities has clearly begun and another big transformation that is happening right now is the convergence of business networks with control systems (OT/IoT), which not only creates great opportunities for business but also increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attacks causing an emerging challenge from an ever-evolving threat landscape. With 5G development and adoption of IoT devices our digital transformation continues, we continue to build a more cohesive and connected society but attackers are capitalising on vulnerabilities inherent in these OT/IoT devices introduced by those responsible for building, operating and maintaining the systems, leading to loss of intellectual property.
What are the top channel directions your company has set for your partners and where should partners invest to be aligned with these directions?
In the light of how customer expectations are changing very rapidly, in terms of how security services are to be delivered and how ROI has to be measured, it’s important for channel partners to look at engaging with the right set of vendors. Our channel-first business model has reaped immense success over the years, cementing Trend Micro’s channel leadership position in the industry. After 30 years in this business, we continue to stay true to our unfaltering commitment of making our partners successful and achieving growth together.
Recently, we have enhanced our channel partner program in Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA). Further to the program, we have introduced several key initiatives designed to help channel partners generate more margins, capture new revenue streams, and drive tighter alignment with Trend Micro in the field by taking a customer-centric approach.
We have focused channel partners in India and the partner initiatives this year would include partner engagement, trainings, certifications and incentives. With a focus on building a robust channel ecosystem, we have signed up with Managed Service Provider (MSP) partners to offer services to our customers and take complete ownership of our product and service implementation. This provides an opportunity for channel partners to build a better profitability and invest in Trend Micro.